Getting conversational with Twin Cities singer / emcee Dessa (playing World Cafe Live on 1/11)

Photo by Bo Hakala

As a toddler, Minneapolis-based musician Dessa started a ritual with her parents. She would regularly ask them, she says, if “we could do that thing where I talk and you talk and we take turns.”

“You mean a conversation?” her mom would reply.

Today, Dessa has channeled that passion for dialogue into a career as a singer and emcee, emerging from the Twin Cities hip-hop scene. She is touring in the Midwestern and Northeastern cities this winter after the 2011 release of her live album, Castor the Twin. That tour includes a stop at World Café Live on January 11.

Castor the Twin blends driving rap and dreamy vocals with vibraphone, piano, viola, and stand-up bass. It is a live reworking of her first full-length album, A Badly Broken Code, with the addition of a newer single, “The Beekeeper.” A member of the DoomTree collective of Minneapolis hip-hop musicians, Dessa drew praise for that album from NPR and the Chicago Tribune, among others.

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