Da Musically Inclined Bomb

DePauw University's First Year Seminar on Writing about Music

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Ani DiFranco

How many nine year olds have you seen playing Beatles covers in the local bars? Probably none since you’re all underage! But, if you were of age how realistic would this sight be? Not likely at all. Ani DiFranco is a well known artist who writes and performs all her own music and serves as one of the biggest music icons in the LBGT community, particularly among lesbians.

Ani DiFranco was born in Buffalo, New York and began her career as a musician very early. By the age of nine she was playing Beatles covers and playing local gigs with her guitar teacher. By the age of eighteen she had recorded her first album under her newly opened record company Righteous Babes. She started the record company on her own with only fifty dollars in her pocket. From then on, she has recorded a new album every year (except 2000.) I feel the lesson we can learn from Ani’s life is the importance of and determination and independence as musicians.

The success of having your own record label can prove your determination and independence to a great extent. As musicians ourselves, artistic freedom is a major part of our career. Owning your own record label allows you to release whatever material you desire, whenever you desire, and as often as you desire. In my opinion, the fact that Ani DiFranco is able to take her music wherever she wants and express herself freely is greatly based on not having the “control” part of another record company. She has also helped her community out and purchased an old church that was going to be demolished due to vacancy. She now uses the church as the home to her Righteous Babes record company and it also serves as a concert hall.

Ani is a famous musician who has won her audience by the sound of her music and liberal lyrics. With lyrics that hit issues like sexism, racism, sexual abuse, homophobia, reproductive rights, poverty and war she attracts many politically active college students who go on to spread the word of her music. Ani has experienced very little media exposure which would explain why the majority of DePauw’s students have not heard of her or her music. In fact, Ani has become popular by a small chain of leading events. It first started with cutting class to write poetry, then performing poetry, then turning poetry into lyrics and performing that. Once she obtained her drivers license her gigs began to spread from town to a bigger town, city to a bigger city, then state to state, and she now performs on tour all over the United States.

Ani is an independent artist who has left her success in the hands of her audience. She career is based on the approval of her fans. She writes lyrics that she knows her fans will be able to relate too. She is an feminine activist who believes in self expression as a musician.


At 11/13/2006 12:05 AM, Blogger Renee said...

sorry guys... so basically... after spending the entire weekend at a big LBGT convention you know i was gonna have to write about someone who identifies!

At 11/13/2006 12:13 AM, Blogger Renee said...

oops! i forgot my links ... here they are:


At 11/13/2006 2:20 AM, Blogger Dennis Fuller said...

i saw ani difranco, and i was like "LESBIAN ROCK!!"

it all makes sense.

great artist.


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