Lillie Madali, also known as DJ Lillie Smalls, brings a cultivated mix of passions to her audience, including an immigrant background story, advocacy for women and education, professional work for her city and a solid love and awareness for music.
DJ Lillie Smalls is an Atlanta, Georgia native with a family background that stems from the Philippines. Born to immigrant parents, DJ Lillie Smalls’ mom had the opportunity to come to the United States on a nursing visa. She grew up in a musical environment, exposed to different genres of music and instruments. Her father gave her a radio in second grade that allowed her to listen to music every night before going to sleep. She tuned in to Atlanta’s all-time favorite V-103, enjoying The Quiet Storm and sometimes listening in to Delilah. Her first musical instrument was the piano. But she later went on to play violin, which she played for over ten years, playing for the University Symphony Orchestra and freelancing for weddings.
My whole life I have been balancing music and something else. It started with high school and music, then music and a project manager career. Music has always been there. I don’t feel complete when I don’t express my creative side. Now, I feel like I am more authentic when I have something else to look forward to. I don’t place my whole worth on my work. I feel like I am living a fuller life,” DJ Lillie Smalls says.
DJ Lillie Smalls’ milestone toward pursuing her dream of becoming a DJ was in meeting her husband, DJ Sofa King Evil. As a DJ instructor with Scratch Academy, he taught her the techniques of being a DJ and she followed him around to all his gigs. She began picking up on a lot of the trade. She learned that being a great DJ is about song selection, technical ability, working the crowd through mic work, and branding. “It’s picking the right song at the right moment. It feels so good to read a crowd! Getting an idea of who they are and what they may be listening to,” DJ Lillie Smalls says.
She’s been rocking parties and clubs since she started as a DJ at her first party at the Music Room. You can catch DJ Lillie Smalls playing anything from oldies, to Jersey Club music, Progressive House and Hip Hop. Some notable venues that she has performed at include: W Atlanta Midtown, MJQ, Graveyard Tavern, and the Basement EAV.
Lillie Madali is the founder and executive director of an incorporated 501(c)3 charitable and educational foundation that provides women with scholarships and leadership education. She spends most of her free time making impact through this organization’s work along with volunteering in and around Atlanta with other initiatives. She has also been recognized for her professional work. Madali is a recent graduate of the 2018 LEAD Atlanta class, part of the renowned Leadership Atlanta organization. In 2017, she was honored to be a part of 2017 Georgia’s WIN List with Georgia’s WIN Leadership Academy.
In her non-DJ hours, you can find her working at the City of Atlanta. She has obtained a master’s degree of public administration in management and finance from Georgia State University and a bachelor’s degree of arts in art history, minor in music performance from University of Georgia.