22 Jan Indie Trailblazer Ani Difranco Making a Long-Awaited Return
The influence of Ani DiFranco on fellow musicians, activists, and indie-minded people the world over is huge. She proudly identifies as a folksinger, but her repertoire is spirited medley of soul, funk, hip-hop, jazz, spoken word and other musical genres.
Over the course of more than 20 albums, Ani has never stopped evolving, experimenting, and testing the limits of what can be said and sung. Her tribe of co-conspirators includes everyone from Pete Seeger and the late Utah Phillips to a new generation of twenty-something artists who grew up with her songs and shows. Of course, there’s also the motley crew of folks like Prince, Maceo Parker, Andrew Bird, Dr. John, Arto Lindsay, Bruce Springsteen, Chuck D, the Buffalo Philharmonic, Gillian Welch, Cyndi Lauper, and even Burmese activist and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, with whom she has crossed paths in myriad ways.
Early in her career, Ani made a choice that was considered brazen at the time – to say no to every record label deal that came her way, and yes to being her own boss. But it is another choice she made early in life – to use her voice and her guitar as honestly and unflinchingly as she could, writing and playing songs that come straight from her own experience, her boundless imagination, her sharp wit, and her ever-more-nuanced understanding of how the world works – that has brought sold-out crowds to her shows around the world, fans debating every nuance of her lyrics, and fellow performers clamouring to work with her.
Ani’s songs deal with contemporary social issues ranging from racism, sexism, sexual abuse, homophobia, and reproductive rights, to poverty and war. Her vocal activism is matched by her actions, whether it’s performing at rallies and protests, or working with her foundation to support grassroots cultural and political organizations on matters ranging from abortion rights to gay visibility.
A diverse, eclectic, authentic and exciting artist, Ani is, above all, an honest-to-goodness folksinger.
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