JAI GURU DEV

3 Questions with Lady D

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one. is there a moment in time (art project, a certain teacher, etc.) when you knew that creating was going to be your life’s work? if so, can you describe that (memory, feeling, thought) for us?

I was a very young reader and my house had many books. I learned about Haiku from reading and began to write my own when I was four or five. My mother had me going to drama and dance classes and by the time I was six I was already performing with accomplished actors. I was published in an anthology at seven and winning playwriting awards by the time I was eight. It was pretty clear that I was a very creative child and going to do creative things.

two. how does where you are (personally, geographically, historically, etc.) impact the work you create? how does chicago factor into that equation, if at all?

Where I live informs my artistry greatly in that I'm around and influenced by what has grown from or come out of this area. While I'm into many global sounds, from classical to music of the African diaspora, I do find what I'm actually able to create is born of the experiences and the connections I've had here. That happens to be a mixed bag of house, techno, disco, hip-hop, spoken word, and soul/R &B.

three. what is the role of the artist in today’s world, for you?

The role of the artist is to defy ordinariness, to be different, to turn things on their head; to excite in others something dead, undiscovered, or forgotten.

Manifest Chicago