The first solo female artist to sign to Roadrunner Records discusses mentorship with Kanye West, her unashamed sexuality, and how provocative performance art helped her to purge the weight of real life toxicity.
Provocateur Dana Dentata sat in for an exchange with the clown on the latest edition of the Electric Theater conversation series. As the first female solo artist signed to Roadrunner Records, Dentata has cultivated a passionate following that fully embraces her sexually-charged, broodingly bold brand of fem-centric hip hop.
With an understanding of the importance of the complete presentation as an artist, Dentata’s aesthetic is a sultry, almost sinister noir that serves well in complimenting her stylized version of dark low end and unapologetic word play. Being able to artistically balance the sights and sounds ultimately led to clown and Dentata begin discussing photography and the tough task of translating her vision through the camera lens.
Dentata would go onto explain that the inflammatory edge of her work presents a unique power dynamic. Most people incorrectly assume that being unfiltered means being vulnerable. The reality however for the Toronto-native is the exact opposite. Dana’s inability to be anyone but herself means she’s also unrestricted. The challenge only exists for whomever is on the other end of the camera – to get on Dana’s level.
It’s that antagonistic nature of Dentata’s craft that loans itself to her being so forthcoming, even in conversation. Armed with that ‘zero-fucks-given’ spirit, she articulates that having uncomfortable conversation would probably nurture better, healthier dialogue, yet most people opt to beat around the bush. For Dentata, nothing is off the table, on the record or in conversation.
The correlation between artistic expression and real life strife is likely why Dentata’s sound translates as so confrontational. She would go onto explain to clown that ‘The Resurrection of Dana Dentata’ was especially pivotal for her, both personally and professionally. Working out the toxicity in her real life through her chosen medium, the hellish odyssey of the nearly 20-minute collision of avant-garde music video meets underground mixtape was intended to function as a purge, a vehicle for Dentata to exorcise her personal demons through her creative vision. It’s a move she says paid off in spades, citing that her life after the ‘The Resurrection’ was nothing like it was before.
Dana also discussed her loose mentorship with Kanye West. Earning a spot on ‘Ye’s radar would eventually lead to Dentata spending some time with the mogul during a professional courtship. With talks of potentially signing with him, Dentata shared that Kanye’s vision very much on another level, such that other people often can’t see it. What she would take away from her time with West was the importance of remaining adamant in communicating that vision. People that aren’t visionaries won’t understand, its the artists role to insist that they do.
That kind of ideology is partly why Dentata signed to the mostly metal label in Roadrunner Records. Detailing the long process of courtship with endless record label meetings and lots of talking heads, Dentata confided that the people at Roadrunner were actual humans that breathed air. They understood the lane Dentata was paving was her own and they understood the dynamic was they weren’t going to get behind the wheel, they we’re coming along for the ride.
As for the artist’s vision, Dana shared that her debut album Pantychrist, is about 80 percent complete with the hopes of seeing a summer 2021 release. Explaining that the songwriting process is linked to how she see envisions the live transition onstage, the aim is to expand on the performance art that anchors ‘The Resurrection’ and build a complete album experience around that. Complete with a funeral, being buried alive, and crawling out of the grave as a sort of symbolic rebirth, Dana’s plans are as bold as her sound.
Stream the complete conversation with clown and Dana Dentata on the latest installment of The Electric Theater below.