Monday, April 1, 2019

Sexual power, living your truth and breaking the narrative | An interview with rapper Dana Dentata

Dana Dentata is flipping the script and is making some of the most in-your-face, empowered female rap out their right now. Full stop. Ex-metal band front woman, ex-stripper, is unapologetic, authentic and owns her truth and sexuality without an inch of misandry and all with a sense of glamour, gloom and a punch of feminine power. Her blend of industrial, metal and almost chill trip hop sounds leads you down a path of hot feisty femme poetic prowess

Who is Dana Dentata?

A mullet having, no fucks given, pussy power preacher. 

Originally you were in a metal band. Can you tell us about the
transition from the metal scene to the rap scene? And how you were received?

I've always loved rap and metal. My first album that I owned as a kid was Chocolate Starfish and the Hotdog Flavored water by Limp Bizkit which I think helps paint a picture there. I feel like I've always been treated with respect and received well by both worlds because nothing I do is a gimmick, it all comes straight from my heart and real recognize real. 


One of that things I like most about you is your authenticity and unafraid attitude to address sexuality, femininity and the taboo. Mainstream rappers whilst they may drop the word “pussy” or “dick” every now and then they tend to present themselves as very mainstream and majority even aesthetically and physically. You shut this down by being who you are and simply showing your truth. There’s no appropriation you were a damn stripper not some mainstream rapper or pop star trying to
appropriate the culture. Is that something you consciously thought about when becoming Dana Dentata or something that just simply fell into place?

It's just always been pulsing through my veins. My girl band Dentata that I started at 18 was the same energy and it was never intentional. It didn't fall into place so easily though. It was a fight and it took me a really long time and many words of wisdom from my heroes to realize that I can't listen to anybody and I just have to be myself and do what feels right to me. I'm living my truth now, that's for sure. 

Going against the traditional stereotype of a female musician and rapper often some women prefer to distance themselves from the sexuality and femaleness but its every bit you in your music. What are your thoughts on owning who you are and owning your sexuality instead of demanding to be just a “rapper” as opposed to a “female rapper”?

It pisses me off that there is a preconceived notion you can't be taken seriously if you are aware and in control of your sexual power. This is our strength and it's only been confused as a weakness by the patriarchy's manipulation game. 

 Your lyrics are very female empowering and your-in your-face attitude is refreshing whilst also flipping the narrative of masculine rap. The darkness and gloomy vibes your music elicits speaks to a whole new audience of outcasts who now have a rap artist they can relate to and in many ways empathise with. How would you describe your music and your ethos behind Dana Dentata?

Even though I'm feminine I feel very masculine. My biggest influences being Eminem and Marilyn Manson. They are so much more then artists with great songs. They were a voice for people that needed an outlet for their pain and frustrations, to call shit out for them and make them feel seen and heard. They invoked necessary thought to the masses. I feel that this is my higher purpose. I believe I was meant to be more then a cool artist with a lot of clicks and views. I don't give a shit about that, I care about making an impact on someones soul. Women in particular. 

 I’ve noticed just from looking on social media that because you don’t fit the stereotyped female mould you often get a lot of negative comments and sadly mostly from women. How do you deal with the negativity and judgment? Personally, I love seeing a darker more goth and harder female representation in rap. It's something I think not only I but many can relate with.

I think any hate from women comes from the patriarchy mind game I mentioned earlier. A lot of women don't realize we were subliminally brainwashed our whole lives to go against each other. All that hate does is make me want to work harder to dismantle it. I have spirit guides and healers as well as a core group that keep me focused and hold me down. Also if you truly don't give a fuck about something you wont put your energy into it. I keep that in mind when people put their hateful energy towards me because I know deep down they're loving it :P Or they just genuinely don't like me and that's cool too I honestly don't give a fuck. 

 In 2018, you took a hiatus after dealing with years of abuse and a subsequent harmful relationship full of toxicity. Is this something you have tackled in your newer lyrics and how do you rebuild yourself after something like that?

I had to completely shut down. All I did for months was work, go to therapy and hang out with the same 3 people. In Canada if you are a victim in a criminal investigation you get free therapy, otherwise I would never have gone. They let me choose someone that specializes in what I've been through and I took that shit very seriously. I studied myself and my past so meticulously and made the intention to heal and protect myself. I made a deadline for myself to stop dancing and focus on my true mission. I felt like after all that went down in 2018 I was being given a second chance at life so I went extra hard. 

You featured on Marilyn Manson’s album ‘Heaven Upside Down’. What was that like? And what’s the best advice Manson has given you?

He's been my favorite artist my entire life so it was surreal. It was extra sick because we recorded it together in the studio. I played him some music I had at the time, including TND before I put it out because I kinda made that song in secret (everyone was telling me not to rap). He could tell that was the one song I had where I was being my true self and helped me realize that was all I had to do. I stopped listening to everybody else after that.  

© Jared Eng

 You have eight strip club approved songs including ‘Trust No Dick’ which is seriously badass. I read you said: “‘Stripper jams’ are sexy, empowering songs the girls can dance to on stage that aren’t about bitches all up on some rapper,”. I read you had said in a previous interview your music is “‘Stripper jams’ are sexy, empowering songs the girls can dance to on stage that aren’t about bitches all up on some rapper”. What's the biggest misconception and myths about stripping and/or strippers?

That we're being objectified. It's an exchange and we are very much in control of the situation. We have boundaries and they must be adhered, you'll always get your asshole that wants to push your limits but that is what the bouncers are for. There's a lot of things we gain as dancers other then money. It's a mutual understanding of a basic human need and sometimes it can be beautiful to provide that for people that don't get it in the real world. I still talk to some of my regulars and they have always been really supportive and up lifting. 

© Walter Brady

Misogyny is present in all music genres but seems to be more prevalent in the rap/hip-hop scene how do deal with that and counter that with your music and image?

By saying all the things we're supposed to be afraid to say. By showing men a masculinity that comes from a woman. Owning my power and using it to empower other women. 

You are heading down under in a few months as a special guest on Ghostemane’s tour. What can Australian audiences expect?

FEMALE ENERGY AT ITS FINEST and a bad ass bitch shredding a 7 string guitar 

What does the rest of 2019 have in store for Dana Dentata?

I have no idea but I can't wait to find out. 

You can catch Dana Dentata as special guest on Ghostemane's Australian tour this May.