Since the tender age of 16, Monalisa Young has been a professional in the mainstream of the Music Industry. Following closely in the footsteps of her Mother “Cathryn Ballinger” who is chronicled in the “Durbeck Archives” under the title as one of the “First Black Classically Trained Opera Singers” along with Opera Divas “Leontynne Price, Kathleen Battle and the great Marion Anderson”.
As a very young child, Monalisa would be at her Mother’s side as she trained with some of the best vocal coaches of the Opera field in Los Angeles, California. Unknowingly Monalisa was absorbing all of these teachings and would later use them as tools of her own.
Diversity has always been a quality in this “Four Generation” family of singers, from the Quartet of Monalisa’s Grandfather, to the now duo of Monalisa and daughter Charity.
With Monalisa’s mother being first a Gospel singer at the “Tabernacle Of Faith” in South Central Los Angeles, made it easy for her mother to re-visit her Gospel roots where she would later in her career form a contemporary Gospel group called “The Summit” of which Monalisa was a member.
The group would sing original inspirational songs with intricate harmonies and contemporary flair written by songwriter/pianist “Tony Williams” of which they also recorded. Although the group’s concerts would mostly be promoted from Church to Church, their angelic voices charmed their audiences throughout the city of Los Angeles.
The group was short lived, but was only the beginning for Monalisa, a training ground that would only enhance her natural abilities for music.
As her Mother would soon sign with Beegee Records to record a Contemporary Gospel album of her own entitled “No Longer Strangers” with producer and CEO “Byron Spears” and the talented arranger “Paul Johnson” Monalisa stayed close in her shadow.
Monalisa was so intrigued by the extraordinary vocals of the Singers who performed on her Mothers album. These singers were known as the premiere singers of the Industry and were a heavy influence as well to Monalisa and helped to convince her that this is what she wanted to do.
Monalisa’s Mother then carried her request not really realizing that she would be so instrumental and key in her daughter’s career. It just so happens that with Monalisa’s Mother being a good acquaintance of one of the singer’s Mother (Singer, Venetta Fields) she would carry the word to Venetta’s Mother not really knowing the out come.
Venetta readily opened a further door and gave Monalisa a chance to audition for the singer/songwriter “Paul Williams”. Her audition would be conducted through Venetta’s singing partner “Clydie King” who was totally impressed with Monalisa, especially with one of the requirements that called for an operatic solo on one of Paul’s songs entitled “Old Souls” a very important and sensitive song he wrote about his Parents. This was a very easy task for Monalisa considering her rich background with Opera.
After Monalisa’s Audition, Clydie hired her on the spot and the rest is now history as Monalisa would
go on to record and tour with many of the greatest artist in the history of music such as Bob Dylan, Joe Cocker and Neil Diamond to name a few, as well as accomplish charted recordings of her own (solo as well as groups.)
Singing on Gold and Platinum Recordings. Monalisa also accomplished the Clio Award for her performance of the world famous “British Airways Commercial” with the well known classic from Lakme’ “The Flower Duet” singing both vocals of which she also re-recorded for Yanni’s Grammy nominated album “Dare To Dream”. This exotic recording in its re-arrangement would then be known as “Aria”. With Monalisa’s vocals and Malcom McLaren’s concept of this Commercial has helped resurrect the original piece world- wide. Monalisa’s vocals of this gorgeous piece was played in forty-four Countries and also used for the French Elections.