When Dessa thinks about Father’s Day, her father’s voice comes to mind.
“A father’s voice can thoroughly embed itself in their children, more thoroughly than I think even fathers can imagine,” Dessa says in an interview with HipHopDX. “There have been some times [where I’ll say] ‘I’m trying to do work here.’ And my dad’s voice is in my ear. It’s so much a part of who I am and who I’ve become. It’s difficult to turn it off.
“Some of that is probably about how cool a dad I had, how humble he is,” Dessa adds. “But it’s probably also…I think most of us, at some point or another, struggle to try to win our father’s approval or try to feel lclose to our father. Fathers are tough figures, man, complicated motherfuckers. I think, struggling for approval is a big part of what defines a lot of us with our dads, who were strong, but maybe a little distance, who were loving, but maybe also angry sometimes. It’s that kinda cocktail that makes those relationships complicated…His voice is a very difficult one to silence in my head.”
Dessa references her father on her “Children’s Work” selection, off the critically acclaimed 2010 album, A Badly Broken Code. In fact, her father is the first person mentioned on the song and on the album. “My father was a paper plane,” she raps on the track.
In 2010, Dessa spoke with HipHopDX about that line. “My father is a pilot and also a scholarly cerebral guy,” she said at the time. In the interview, she also said she is likely more like her father than her mother. “I think I’m probably a little bit more like my father,” she said. “I’ve got a lot of enthusiasm and I’ve got a temper and a facility with language. I think all of those things come in large part from him. He was also a classical guitarist so when I was a little kid, I would hear the kind of melancholy strains of classical guitar and I would imagine that also informed my taste in the kind of harmonies I like.”
Dessa recently announced that her most recent album, Parts Of Speech, is slated to be re-released as a remix EP. The remix to “Fighting Fish” off the project is below.