SPEAKER

Dessa

Singer, rapper, and writer Dessa has made a career of bucking genres and defying expectations—she’s performed at Lollapalooza and Glastonbury; co-composed for a 100-voice choir; contributed a song to the “RBG” documentary soundtrack; and appeared on the Billboard charts as a solo artist, a member of the Doomtree hip hop collective, and as a contributor to The Hamilton Mixtape (her track “Congratulations” has notched over 16 million streams). She’s written for The New York Times and National Geographic, presented a TED talk with more than 2 million views, and in 2018 published a memoir titled My Own Devices that tells the story of her life, career, and an ambitious plan to fall out of love. Her most recent full-length record, Sound the Bells, was recorded live with the GRAMMY award winning Minnesota Orchestra. The LA Times says Dessa “sounds like no one else.” The Utne Reader calls her a “one-woman powerhouse.” On the stage and on the page, her style is defined by ferocity, wit, tenderness, and candor.