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Homegoings: DonnCherie On The Art Of Authenticity

A black and white image of a person with three blue dots on their forehead, an orange flower crown and yellow lines shining like rays from their face, all against a lime green background
PHOTO: Shanta Lee Gander, Courtesy
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GRAPHIC: Elodie Reed, VPR
Burlington-based singer-songwriter DonnCherie defines a genre all her own: honey-soaked pain. She says as a Black artist in Vermont, your only job is to show up as yourself.

A conversation with DonnCherie about compassion, artistic authenticity and taking Blackness back.

Note: Our show is produced for the ear. We recommend listening if you can! But we also provide a transcript here.

This is the fourth installment of Homegoings, a special series from Brave Little State that features conversations with musicians of color who live in Vermont. Follow the series here.

Check out more Homegoings episodes:

Subscribe to Brave Little State for free, and never miss an episode:

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Who is DonnCherie?

DonnCherie is a Burlington-based, soul-folk singer-songwriter whose first love was the blues. She's a model, a dancer, and a practicing witch. She's also a bookkeeper for artists of color in Vermont. She says as a Black artist in this state, your only job is to show up as yourself.

Watch/listen to "For Keeps":

https://youtu.be/bkcd_KGysgo

Lyrics:

Rome is bleeding on a tall, tall, hill put the light on A sister dreams, while the flood waters recede, put the light on We’re salivating to the war slides, always hoping God’s on OUR side Put the light on, Hey! Put the light on In the shadows where, nothing matters there the darkness breeds, while action sleeps, in In the light of day, we have to make a play that Might just be for keeps There is plenty of blood on my hands, put the light on But the bones are steel here in my stance, put the light on The baby is nursing from a funeral urn, as we stand and watch our island burn Put the light on, HEY! Put the light on In the shadows where, nothing matters there the darkness breeds, while action sleeps, in In the light of day, we have to make a play that Might just be for keeps In the absence of Light! In the absence of light! (Self-deception grows in the absence, the absence of light) In the absence of light! In the absence of light! (Self-deception grows in the absence, the absence of light) We’re acclimated to a sick gray world, It doesn’t matter which flag unfurls The buried corpses we know we’ve kept, they woke up and found us while we’ve slept Put the light on, Put the light on In the shadows where, nothing matters there the darkness breeds, while action sleeps in In the light of day, we have to make a play that Might just be for keeps…… Oh yeah yeah yeah yeah

Credits:

Reporting, production & original music: Myra Flynn

Mix & sound design: Angela Evancie & Myra Flynn

Digital production: Myra Flynn & Elodie Reed

Brave Little State executive producer: Angela Evancie 

bravelittlestate.org

A thin grey line.

the word homegoings written in white lettering, with a yellow crown over the "m," surrounded by cutouts of black and white lilies and carnations
Credit Elodie Reed / VPR
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VPR

Homegoings is a special series from Brave Little State that features conversations with musicians of color who live in Vermont — about Black grief, resilience and music.

Explore the full series here.

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