Danielle Cheri: Featured Musician- March 2012

© Danielle Cheri.

Danielle Cheri is a street poet, star gazing, moon swooning, love ridden hip hop artist from Minneapolis, MN. Her first album, “Dear_____, ______Yours Truly, drops March 12, 2012, As well as her book “Arcanum”.

 Danielle’s Bandcap

Danielle’s Reverbnation

Q. Describe Your Sound

“I started out as a spoken word poet/writer and started writing a book when I was 18. Then about 6 years ago I met some good friends of mine that turned me on to hip hop music and my spoken word sort of slowly evolved into a poetic hip hop flow. I’ve been writing my whole life, and grew up in a very artistic and musically inclined house, so it seemed, for me, hip hop was the perfect outlet for my writing. So I suppose if I were to describe my sound I would say it has a generally calm, sometimes melancholic, intense, yet reveling feel to it. A poetic rap rendition of my writing, thoughts, feelings, and poetry. “

Q. What sparked your interest in hip-hop?

“I would have to say the few friends that sort of helped evolve my poetry into music had a huge impact on my love for hip hop. To be completely honest, 6 years ago, I wasn’t interested in hip hop at all. I’m sort of punk at heart, and what I had heard of hip hop, at that point, didn’t really get me in the way that it does now. Now when I look at hip hop, especially in minneapolis, I see a lot of different genres and styles of music working together, which at this point has to be one of the biggest things that sparks my interest. To me, music doesn’t just come out of a person in ONE way. Music is thoughts and expressions of the heart, and every thought and feeling one has isn’t ever expressed or felt in one specific way. So I think bringing all types of musical expressions together is amazing, and only makes sense. The main thing though that really inspires me about hip hop is the poetics of it. Poetry and writing have always been a huge part of my life, and it has a way of leaking through the seams and in and out every crevasse of this particular genre. “

Q. Influences/Inspirations

“In the beginning I would have to say one of my biggest influences in writing was Ani Difranco. Which now that I say it sounds quite cheesy, but she always had a way about her words that really got me. I remember always trying to imitate that in ways. Today I would say, for writing, my biggest influence is Marilyn Hacker, the author of “Love, Death, and the Changing of Seasons”. I don’t generally read many poetry books or fictional stories. Most of the books on my book shelf consist of things like “A Peoples History of the United States,” or Aristotle’s “Nicomachean Ethics”. But, one of my good friends gave me Marilyn Hacker’s book a few years ago and I fell in love with the way she expressed her emotions. Very raw, yet very poetic. And in my writing, that book has really influenced me. As for musical influences, CocoRosie has always been one of the main influences in my musical creations. They were a huge influence in my love of sampling and beat boxing, as well as inspired me to “color outside the lines” if you will. I would also say hip hop artists like Sage Francis, Aesop Rock, early Atmosphere, maybe even a little Ghostface have influenced me over the past few years, as well as my friends that introduced me and sort of tutored me in hip hop. Listening to there music and being inspired by them has really shaped the artist I am today.”

Q. Advantage/Disadvantage of Being A Female in the Industry

“I think it has its advantages and disadvantages. There are definitely more men than women in hip hop, or at least more men seem to be recognized. So I think, in that, there is an advantage, being different from the rest. I also think men and women have a vastly different way of expressing themselves through words and rhythms so having the mix of men and women in an act brings something magnetic and attractive lyrically to the stage. Although, sometimes, in the same respect, it can be hard trying to decipher ones true interest in music and lyrical talent opposed to attraction. When you are a female in hip hop, being that it is a rarity, there can be a lot of false propositions or interests based on attraction instead of true love and appreciation of talent. Which at times can be discouraging. So I think there are definitely ups and downs to being a female in hip hop. “

Q. Upcoming Projects (…you had mentioned a CD release?)

“I have a CD release show March 12th @ Honey in NE, Mpls. I am also coming out with my first book, “Arcanum”, which will be available March 12th as well. Available for purchase at our release party show as well as on Amazon.com. “

Q. If you could pick any venue to perform at with any other act, who would it be and why?

“I always thought it would be cool to play in a church. I think the acoustics would be amazing, as well as the art and aesthetics usually involved in a church setting would be a great atmosphere for a show. As for an artist to play with, it would be a dream come true to play a show with CocoRosie. They are so raw and original, it would be really cool to be apart of that. They always put on an interesting show. “

Q. Is there a message you’d like to get across with your lyrics?

“My lyrics are the most important piece of my music to me. My writing, my passion. Each song tells a different story, and in each song there’s a new message. “

Q. Do you think Minnesota Nice really exists?

“Good question. Minnesota nice. I think so, yes. I think in so many ways Minnesota is a great place to be. It always keeps me coming back, no matter were I go. “

Q. Finish this rhyme, “I’m rockin OBSOLETE, on my new skate{board} complete…”

“On the black street, concrete, a discrete defeat, all troubles behind as I Kick… push to the beat. “

Q. Any shout outs you’d like to include!

“Thank you to everyone that has supported me and that have been involved in this project, and thank you to you guys for this opportunity. “

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