Dessa talks about music, 'Deeply Human' podcast

Dessa's new album 'IDES' is available to buy
Posted at 9:59 AM, Apr 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-07 12:59:27-04

(KERO) — There are musicians who transcend any genre they're in. Some are even able break into different mediums seemingly effortlessly.

Dessa falls in this category yet defies being pigeonholed into any style of music or writing.

She sings and raps. She's a poet and a published author. Dessa also has her own podcast on human behavior and is part of the Minneapolis-based collective Doomtree.

She's been quite busy during the pandemic including releasing a new album. There's also her song "Who's Yellen Now?" about U.S. Secretary of Treasury Janet Yellen.

"The was acting actually a project that was spearheaded by a public radio program named 'Marketplace Money' that was inspired by an offhand quip essentially when President Biden was making his announcement of his nominee for that position," explains Dessa.

"He quipped something [along the lines of] 'Hey, Lin-Manuel Miranda should send her up in the same way he did 'Hamilton.'

"The producers of 'Marketplace' thought it be so cool to make something like that happen. So they hit me up and said 'Would it be it be possible to do a send up of Janet Yellen?' And a few weeks later we had a tune... A 90 second musical."

Speaking of "Hamilton," Dessa was also featured on the "The Hamilton Mixtape" with her version "Congratulations."

"I was lucky enough to receive an invitation from the madly talented, cultural force that is Lin-Manuel Miranda," explains Dessa about how she was included on the mix tape.

Dessa's new album "IDES" is a collection of songs written and recorded over six months in 2021. You can hear a snippet from Dessa's song "Life on Land" in the audio clip below:

Dessa 'Life on Land'

Her podcast "Deeply Human," now in its second season, is a partnership with the BBC and American Public Media. The podcast is available on the Apple Podcasts app, iHeart radio, as well as on YouTube.

"So each program seeks to answer a question about human behavior; our collective human behavior like why do we get deja vu or why do we feel or act differently when we're in crowds?" says Dessa. "Or why do we wear clothes? No other animal wears clothes, what's up with modesty? How did that come about? Is it entirely cultural? Are there biological trappings to that?

"A big part of the creative endeavor is it to seek voices from around the world who can answer that question in interesting ways from a cultural aspect to an evolutionary perspective."

Dessa also has published a collection of poems which including "Spiral Bound" and "Pound of Steam." She also published "My Own Devices" which is a memoir about life on the road as a musician and about love.

"I think for me, writing for the page or writing for the stage or writing music are all different skills, they are under an overarching awning of the language arts," explains Dessa.

"So for me, I had an interest in language and words and their artful employment since I was a little kid. And my first serious vocational ambition was as a creative writer. And it was through a series of disappointments in the objective that I found myself as a lyricist. After I had spent a lot of time as a touring musician and slowly, very slowly building an audience was I then able to make the case to an agent and publisher that I might merit publication."

"They're not the same, but they're closely connected. They're fraternal."


Dessa talks about music, 'Deeply Human' podcast with 23ABC