Dessa is a rapper, singer and essayist whom the Utne Reader calls “a one-woman powerhouse…with a literary sensibility and an aversion to genre clichés.”
As a musician, she tours both as a solo artist and as a member of Doomtree, the innovative Minneapolis-based hip-hop collective. On stage, she’s funny and ferocious, but also tender—her live show includes rapid-fire rap songs, heartbreak ballads, catchy choruses, and some charismatic banter fueled by wit and whiskey.
Her most recent album, Parts of Speech, debuted at #76 on the Billboard charts; in 2016 she contributed a track to The Hamilton Mixtape, which reached #1. As a writer, Dessa has contributed to newspapers (most recently, The New York Times Magazine), radio programs, and published two short fiction collections
Chicago-based MONAKR formed in 2014 as a collaboration between former members of indie pop band Hey Champ (Saam Hagshenas and Jonathan Marks) and Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Matthew Santos.Largely inspired by the Peter Gabriel flavored electro-pop-rock of the ’80s, coupled with dark R&B and the moody trip-hop of the late ’90s, the genre-blurring MONAKR quickly became a sound greater than the sum of its parts.