Dessa Changes Her Mind | WBEZ
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Dessa Changes Her Mind

The Nerdette team recently moved next to the crew at Sound Opinions, WBEZ’s long-running rock n’ roll talk show. 

We only bring that up because last year that team reviewed Dessa’s latest album, “Chime,” and not only did they call it “brilliant,” they called Dessa “a renaissance woman in the truest sense.”

That’s because Dessa is a rapper, a singer, an author, a poet, and a whiskey co-creator among other things. She even participated in an “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”-type procedure in an attempt to remove memories from a painful relationship.

Nerdette’s Greta Johnsen talks to her about all of that, including her new memoir, My Own Devices. And of course we listen to some of the amazing tracks on “Chime.” Below are highlights.

On grief

Dessa: I think there’s also, at least in our culture, a compulsion to sanctify grief in a way that I think is a little too clean and neat to be true. That idea that, “I wouldn’t change it if I could. Made me the person that I am.” While some of that’s true, I think sometimes it’s us kind of retroactively, over our shoulders, cleaning up that narrative.

If it was really a balanced deal where this grief was constantly improving us, then we would opt for like, “You know what? I’m gonna go get my second divorce!’ I mean, nobody does that on their day off. 

On success

Dessa: I think I probably have come to ascribe to that idea that success very often is that bar that keeps inching further away as you make some modest ascent. And maybe that’s not proof of an impossible-to-satisfy human nature. Maybe it’s just like lunch. Like lunch is never over. Do you know what I mean? “You had lunch yesterday.” “Well, I need lunch again today.” By virtue of being alive, the appetite regenerates.

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