To listen to the music of Desi is to close your eyes and drift off into a different world—if only for a few minutes at a time. That ethereal alternate universe is more than apparent on “Focus” and “Don’t Trip,” the first two tracks from Desi’s upcoming Space In Between EP. The accompanying videos, too, are cross-dimensional journeys; “Focus,” for instance, finds the Milwaukee R&B artist covered in projections from Black cinema. The choice to open with a clip from The Wiz is perfect:

And so it goes with “Stay Up,” the third and final track/video from Space In Between. Calling it “theatrical” and “early Janet Jackson-inspired,” Desi goes on to explain:

“Stay Up” was inspired by my need to honor my inner child, that fearless creativity that kids have because there’s just something inside of them and they need to get it out. I finally gave myself permission to do what I felt through music regardless of what is expected. Which is another aspect to the song, I can give myself what I really need and it’s available to me through me. I also create at night and “stay up,” doing whatever it is I need to do.

The storybook-like video was made in collaboration with critically acclaimed (and Milwaukee-raised) filmmaker Gabrielle Tesfaye. “I knew I wanted Gabrielle Tesfaye to make the visuals for this song because her art to me represents that deep knowing and the divine in Self,” Desi explains. “When I got to see what her interpretation was of my song, I realized there was so much more to what I could articulate. Seeing it visually through her was such a special gift. She showed me things about myself that were affirming.”

Want to see Desi perform live in these no-live-show pandemic times? Catch her (and electro-folk artist So Zuppy) Saturday, August 22 at 8 p.m. as part of Cactus Club’s Digital Dream livestream series. Tune in HERE.

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Co-Founder and Editor

Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.