Of all the artists at this year’s Fun Fun Fun Fest, the one I was most interested in seeing perform and talking with was Dessa. As regular SXSWfm listeners know, her Parts of Speech is one of my favorite albums of 2013. Dessa and her band delivered a powerful performance on Sunday on the Blue Stage, with great interplay between Dessa and her harmony vocalist, Aby Wolf.
Dessa both introduced herself and left the stage saying, “I represent Doomtree,” a Minneapolis collective of artists which has developed into a small business and label: “With Doomtree,” she says, “It’s friendship first...music second...money third.”
After the show, we talked about the rather unique lane Dessa occupies in popular music, combining hard-hitting hip-hop with beautiful melodies and stacked harmonies, often within a single a song. “The conscious part of it is less than I’m trying to make a hybrid music,” Dessa explained. “For me it’s always been: write the best song you can and use all the skills you have...It’s like all the guns are out? Whattya got?”
You can hear segments of our conversation throughout the day today on SXSWfm at the top of the following hours: 8a, 9a,10a, 2p, 3p, 4p, 8p, 9p and 10p, all Central Time. Click here to tune in on your mobile device or desktop.
Dessa performing at Fun Fun Fun Fest. Photo by Rory Burbeck.