Mar 8, 2021 - News

How Dessa finds new music

Photo illustration of a grid of smartphone screens, the center one showing an image of Dessa.

Photo illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios. Photo: Jim Bennett/Getty Images

We asked Minneapolis-based musician and Doomtree member Dessa to share the secrets of her screen time use.

Now playing: "I try to do music discovery on the curated playlists Spotify suggests ... but it's also just suggestions for friends. I asked [local musician] Cameron Kinghorn for recommendations on vocal runs ... I want to learn how to do them! I've been listening to Jazmine Sullivan."

  • Device of choice: iPhone 8
  • First tap of the day: "Email. But the first thing I want to open is social media, and I hate that!"
  • Go-to news sources: "The New York Times and theSkimm. I listen to The Economist podcast every morning and the BBC Coronavirus Global Update."
  • Streaming: "During the pandemic I finally watched 'The Wire' and 'Jane the Virgin.' [But I've also] been watching total trash ... 'Virgin River' and 'Firefly Lane.' I also liked 'The Social Dilemma.'"
  • Reading queue: "'What Money Can't Buy' by Michael J. Sandel and 'The Best American Short Stories 2020,' edited by Curtis Sittenfeld, who is a friend. I'm excited to see what she came up with!"

What's happening: Dessa's new podcast, "Deeply Human," which focuses on "the secrets of the human mind and heart," debuts Monday.

  • She describes the show, which tackles topics ranging from deja vu to online dating, as "a hybrid between really rigorous science and true stories."

This story first appeared in the Axios Twin Cities newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.


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