Filed Under:

Dessa: A Twin City Rapper Explores A Softer Side

Play associated audio

Dessa is best known as a member of Doomtree, a hip-hop collective based in Minneapolis. But there's much more singing than rapping on her latest album, Castor, the Twin, which puts a jazzy, melodic spin on some of her previous work.

Dessa says the title refers to the brothers Castor and Pollux from Greek and Roman mythology. Castor, she explains, is the milder of the two.

"I liked the idea of a more human, tender, mortal take on what had been pretty aggressive songs," Dessa says. "Pollux is said to have had metal hands, and he was this great warrior. And the producers I work with in Doomtree are like my metal-handed friends.

"In making this new record, I thought, I had songs that played really differently when they were performed with live instrumentation," she adds. "So we have grand piano, mandolin and stuff that you would associate more readily with an orchestral vibe."

NPR's Guy Raz speaks with Dessa about making Castor, the Twin and turning her literary background — including a philosophy degree — into a music career.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Not My Job: Sharon Jones Gets Quizzed On Handshakes

We've invited the lead singer of Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings to play a game called "Let's shake on it."
NPR

Salvage Supperclub: A High-End Dinner In A Dumpster To Fight Food Waste

The ingredients — think wilted basil, bruised plums, garbanzo bean water — sound less than appetizing. Whipped together, they're a tasty meal that show how home cooks can use often-tossed foods.
NPR

Barbershop: Speechwriters Speak On The RNC And DNC

Republican speechwriter Mary Kate Cary, Democratic speechwriter Jeff Nussbaum and historian from the University of Virginia Barbara Perry dissect the last two weeks of speeches at the RNC and DNC.
NPR

From 'The Water's Edge To The Cutting Edge': Fish Skeletons, CT Scans And Engineering

Professor Adam Summers is a "fish guy." He uses fish to get engineering ideas. His latest project is to CT scan every type of fish — all 33,000 of them.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.