on TV,
Film &


This Artist

Know a thing or two about this artist?

Want to help make this page better?

Earn points and win prizes. Find out


This Artist

You are not currently tracking Dessa

this artist


Artist Vitals
Total Clips18
Active Streams18
Missing Streams0
Commercially Available0
Artist RP Ranking32%

This article is currently empty - please help fix this by telling us what you know about the film, television and video history of this artist. This is a collaborative, ongoing writing effort, so don't worry if your contribution isn't complete.

Retrieved from Wikipedia:
Dessa on Wikipedia
Dessa Into the Spin tour, Scottsdale, May 2011.jpgDessa performing in Scottsdale, Arizona, in May 2011
Background information
Birth nameMargret Wander[1]
Also known asDessa Darling
Born(1981-05-23) May 23, 1981 (age 35)[2]
OriginMinneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.
  • Hip hop
  • alternative hip hop
  • Rapper
  • singer
  • producer
  • writer
  • record executive
Years active2005–present
LabelsDoomtree Records
Associated acts
  • Doomtree
  • Cecil Otter
  • P.O.S
  • Mike Mictlan
  • Sims
  • Paper Tiger
  • Lazerbeak
  • Gayngs
  • The Boy Sopranos

Margret Wander (born May 23, 1981), better known by her stage name Dessa, is an American rapper, singer, spoken word artist, writer and record executive. She is a member of the indie hip hop collective Doomtree.


  • 1 History
    • 1.1 Early life
    • 1.2 Doomtree
    • 1.3 Side projects
  • 2 Discography
    • 2.1 Studio albums
    • 2.2 EPs
    • 2.3 Singles
    • 2.4 Medida
    • 2.5 Guest appearances
  • 3 Bibliography
  • 4 References
  • 5 External links

Early life

Dessa was born to Robert Wander Jr. and Sylvia Burgos,[3] and has a younger brother, Max.[4] Her father is white and her mother Puerto Rican.[5][6] Dessa went to Southwest High School, graduating from the IB Diploma Programme in 1999. She attended the University of Minnesota, where she earned a B.A. in philosophy.[7] Before becoming an artist full-time, she worked as a technical writer for a medical manufacturer.[8]


Initially drawn to their raw aesthetics and unique sound, Dessa forged a friendship with Doomtree. Soon after, she was asked to join the crew and did so. Since 2005, Dessa has appeared on numerous Doomtree albums, as well as on the other members' solo albums. She is also the CEO of Doomtree.[9]

Dessa's debut solo EP, False Hopes, was released in 2005. Despite being only fifteen minutes long, it was listed as one of the top local albums of the year by Minneapolis Star Tribune.

She completed and released a book of creative non-fiction titled Spiral Bound at the fourth annual Doomtree Blowout in 2008.[10] In 2009, Dessa published Spiral Bound on Doomtree Press, a seventy-page collection of fiction and poetry.[11]

Dessa's first solo album, A Badly Broken Code, was released on January 19, 2010. The singles from this album are "Dixon's Girl" and "The Chaconne." The album features production from Paper Tiger, MK Larada, Lazerbeak, Cecil Otter and Big Jess. MK Larada also designed the album art.[12]

In 2011, Dessa released Castor, the Twin, a remix album featuring new arrangements of songs released on previous projects, primarily A Badly Broken Code. The original production in the remixed tracks was replaced with live instrumentation.[13]

In 2013, Dessa released Parts of Speech. The singles from this album are "Warsaw" and "Call Off Your Ghost."

Side projects

Dessa is a founding member of The Boy Sopranos, an almost all-female a cappella group, with frequent collaborators Jessy Greene, Aby Wolf and others.[citation needed] She also taught at the Institute of Production and Recording and the McNally Smith College of Music.[14]

On March 2, 2012, Dessa presented "Mic Lines: Art, Ethics, and their Contested Connections" at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Minnesota, as part of the three-day Nobel Peace Prize Forum .[15][16]

Dessa was the host of Twin Cities Public Television's The Lowertown Line, a live music series, from 2012 to 2014.[17]

She was a contributing artist on the 2015 St. Paul based 'Plume Project." A public arts installment in which images and colors were projected unto steam rising from a smoke stack and music and spoken-word pieces could be accessed by calling a phone number. Dessa read her poem "Circle Games." [18]

In 2016, she had a flavor of ice cream named after her on July 27, 2016 by Izzy's Ice Cream, “Dessa’s Existential Crunch”.[19] The same year, she contributed to The Hamilton Mixtape with her song "Congratulations."[20]


See also: Doomtree Discography

Studio albums

  • A Badly Broken Code (2010)
  • Castor, the Twin (2011)
  • Parts of Speech (2013)


  • False Hopes (2005)
  • Parts of Speech, Re-Edited (2014)


  • "Warsaw" (2013)
  • "Call Off Your Ghost" (2013)
  • "Quinine" (2016)


  • Medida (2004)

Guest appearances

  • Sims – "No Homeowners" from Lights Out Paris (2005)
  • Kanser – "No D in Erogenous" from Kanser (2005)
  • Paper Tiger – "Speedmetal" from False Hopes (2007)
  • Mel Gibson and the Pants – "Bit of a Buzz" from Sea vs. Shining Sea (2007)
  • Heiruspecs – "Change Is Coming" from Heiruspecs (2008)
  • P.O.S – "Low Light Low Life" from Never Better (2008)
  • Paper Tiger – "Palace" and "And the Camera" from Made Like Us (2010)
  • Lazerbeak – "Bound" from Legend Recognize Legend (2010)
  • Gayngs – "No Sweat" "Faded High" from Relayted (2010)
  • p-teK – "This Bridge Is Burning for You" from Oh! What a Miracle! (2011)
  • Hamilton Mixtape - "Congratulations" from Hamilton Mixtape (2016)


  • Spiral Bound (2009)
  • Sleeping With Nikki (2011)
  • Are You Handsome (2013)
  • A Pound of Steam (2013)


  1. ^ "Students Get Schooled on Hip-Hop at Minn. College". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ Wander, Margret (May 23, 2013). "Good morning, world. Today is my birthday, ...". Facebook. Retrieved May 23, 2013. 
  3. ^ Eveland. "Dessa's mom, Sylvia Toftness, shows us around her Wisconsin cattle farm". City Pages. 
  4. ^ "Dessa's brother (Max Wander, see "Children's Work from A Badly Broken Code) has been singing "The Chaconne" with her this week". 
  5. ^ Darling, Dessa. "Dessa reflects on her artistic journey - City Pages". 
  6. ^ "Best of What's Next: Dessa". 
  7. ^ "Making Music Series: Dessa on Coffman Memorial Union". University of Minnesota. 
  8. ^ "The Revolution Starts... Right After the Drinks". City Pages. 
  9. ^ "University of Minnesota, College of Liberal Arts, 2012 Spring Commencement: Keynote Address by Dessa". University of Minnesota, College of Liberal Arts. 
  10. ^ "Locks of Love – Dessa". HipHopDX. 
  11. ^ "Spiral Bound review". Culture Bully. 
  12. ^ "A Badly Broken Code". Doomtree Store. 
  13. ^ "Review: Dessa – Castor, the Twin (2011)". Mezzic. October 6, 2011. 
  14. ^ "dessa - McNally Smith College of Music President's Blog". Retrieved 2017-02-03. 
  15. ^ Mark (February 21, 2012). "Ethics and Hip Hop: A Discussion with Dessa – Tickets on sale NOW!". Nobel Peace Prize Forum. Retrieved May 25, 2013. 
  16. ^ "2012 Forum: "The Price of Peace"". Nobel Peace Prize Forum. Retrieved May 25, 2013. 
  17. ^ Thompson, Erik (December 26, 2012). "MN Original leaps forward". Archived from the original on January 18, 2013. Retrieved 2016-10-06. CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  18. ^ Kerr, Euan. "Plume Project aims to make art in St. Paul's sky". 
  19. ^ "Izzy's announces 'Dessa's Existential Crunch' ice cream". 
  20. ^ Johnson, Cecilia. "Hear Dessa's ferocious song on "The Hamilton Mixtape"". 

External links

  • Official website
  • Dessa on Doomtree
  • Dessa discography at Discogs

Complete Video List

Sort By:
          Enter your Rock Peaks username.
          Enter the password that accompanies your username.
          Forgot Password?

          Not a Member Yet?


          It's Free!