Dessa breaks new ground as an internationally touring female rapper and the sole female member of the Minneapolis-based hip-hop collective Doomtree.
The former medical writer and philosophy graduate will share stories from her life as well as offer an intimate look into the inner workings of the male-dominated music industry.
Dessa will have a conversation with novelist and LA Times, Rolling Stone, and Village Voice pop culture writer, Margaret Wappler during an upcoming talk at Scripps College.
Scripps College was founded in 1926 by Ellen Browning Scripps, a pioneering philanthropist and influential figure in the worlds of education, publishing, and women’s rights.
The mission of Scripps College is to educate women to develop their intellects and talents through active participation in a community of scholars.
The 35-year-old is a case study in creativity social entrepreneurship and intellectual leadership.
Dessa’s music plays with convention, weaving electronica, classical arrangement, rap, pop, and spoken-word poetry into immersive and surprising pieces that teach the listener about love, loss, and her evolving life as a woman.
Her newest album, Chime, is described as a “blazing indictment of gender dynamics,” and was partially inspired by her foray into neuroscience to help heal a broken heart:
When Dessa asks, “What if I could cure me of you? / Am I so sure which pill I’d choose?” she is in part referencing the fMRI scan, EEG readings, and neurofeedback training program she undertook to help rid herself of obsessive thoughts about her ex.
Dessa’s appearance at Scripps will also offer a rare glimpse into the inner-workings of Doomtree, of which Dessa is the only woman of seven members.
She briefly became CEO of the Doomtree record label in 2016, becoming one of the younger—and among the very few—female executives in the music industry.
The talk with Dessa at Scripps college is slated for March 5.