Dessa talks setlist and advice for aspiring musicians


Retrieved from Dessa’s press kit.

Alexia Walz, Arts and Entertainment Reporter

On Monday, March 2 at 7:30 p.m. musician Dessa will be performing in the Toland Theatre in the Center for the Arts (CFA) for Creative Imperatives 2020. The singer, rapper and writer started her career in 2005 and has released four albums since then, including ‘Chime,’ which–according to Dessa’s websiteis considered as one of NPR’s Favorite Albums of 2018. 

In her career, Dessa has toured around the United States, including in her hometown of Minneapolis. Dessa also performed at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in 2012. 

In her writing career, Dessa has had multiple articles published in the New York Times and published her memoir ‘My Own Devices’ in 2018. According to Dessa’s website, “As compelling on paper as she is on stage, Dessa stitches together poignant insights on loyalty, romance, science, and language—a demonstration of just how far the mind can travel while the body is on a six-hour ride to the next gig.” 

In an interview with The Racquet Press, Dessa said that as a performer, she enjoys sharing music with audiences. “Performing vivifies a song and to be one of many people in the throes of a shared feeling, connects us to one another. Touring is one of the best and hardest parts of a music career,” said Dessa. 

Dessa will be performing ‘5 out of 6, ‘Fire Drills’ and other songs at the Creative Imperatives event. “I try to build sets that are tailor-made for the time and place in which they’ll be performed—taking into account the layout of the venue, the day of the week and the demographic of the attendees,” said Dessa. 

When asked what advice she may have for aspiring musicians, Dessa said that a monetary budget will affect a musician’s career. “Keep your overhead low. The less money you need to support your lifestyle, the more time you can spend making music,” said Dessa. 

To learn more about Dessa, her music and how to follow her on social media, audiences can go to her website or can learn more about the topics that she writes about by watching her TedTalk. 

Although the event on Monday is free, tickets are required and can be picked up at the CFA box office. Dessa will also be performing a short acoustic set and answer audience questions at this presentation on Tuesday, March 3 from 1:10 p.m. to 2:05 pm in Annett Recital Hall in the CFA.