Daisianee Minenger is hitting the music scene in Champaign-Urbana and Chicago with her new project, no power off, or better known as nP0. Performing since grade school, Minenger is self-taught — and I had a chance to chat with her about the fall, her new release META, and her upcoming performance at PYGMALION in September.
Smile Politely: What was the inspiration behind the band name no power off — nP0?
Daisianee Minenger: I have always been a very hyper person. I always did a lot of things. When I was in high school, my parents told me to always give back. I was very active with not only music, but theatre and sports also. I just felt like I did a lot of things and did not really know what to specialize in even though my passion is music. So I thought it was a good name for me.
SP: How would you describe your music?
Minenger: I would just say eclectic. I only recently came up with that word because I never really know what to expect from myself. Also, I have some jazz infused.
SP: Who would you describe as having influenced you in your music? Was there anyone that made you want to pursue music?
Minenger: Personally, I started music technically when I was eight years old. My grandaddy was a pastor and he would make me and my cousin play music. I had to play the organ. I currently play piano right now. We had no training or anything and he would make us play music while he preached. I just kept up with it. I was always a writer. I started making music to my writing. I had many different groups, and I just love to write. I would write a lot of songs for my classmates and talent shows and things, so I would just say the people around me inspired me. I joined a program in high school to play piano, but they actually asked me to sing at the audition and at that point, I had never been a singer. They liked me as a singer and that was the program where I really found my voice and everything. I would say that program inspired me which is called the Chicago West Community Music Center.
Celebrity wise: I would say Erykah badu, Robert Glasper, and any old school rap. I like to listen to a lot of foreign music as well such as South American music.
SP: How long have you been creating music for?
Minenger: I started writing when I was in second grade. It started with the daily compositions we would do when were kids. I loved to do those. I had a diary too, but I felt like my diary was not private enough. I just started to write songs, and I was not a singer or anything. I was just a writer at first. I would write for this group that I had with my two cousins and one of them was a singer. We performed at our first talent show in fourth grade. It was fifth or sixth grade where it was around half of the classroom of girls where I was the writer.
SP: You describe yourself as a music and recording engineer. Can you describe what you do as a music engineer?
Minenger: I will just say that I do everything from scratch. I can get an idea anywhere such as on the bus or when I am about to go to sleep. I have this app on my phone called Music Studio. It is basically like a studio and it has pretty much all instruments that I can record and make whatever. It is potentially like a GarageBand. I have this app whenever I am out and always have my journal with me too. I record, and I mix it. It is a matter of trial and error for me because nobody really trained me, so I listen to myself over and over again. I mix it and master it on my phone and computer. I have it especially on my phone, so I can have it and can keep listening to perfect it.
SP: You are playing at PYGMALION in Urbana this September. What can your fans expect?
Minenger: I do not know what they can expect — because as I said I am unpredictable. They can expect some slow jams and a variety of different things.
SP: What are some of your personal favorites from your work as an artist?
Minenger: Some of my personal favorites are actually this one song that I just made for a friend which is called "Great Escape", and I wrote it for him and recorded it so that he could hear it. I really like the way that the song sounded when I recorded it. I have two different versions of that, and I think I will perform one at the Pygmalion Festival. I have a song called "Explore", and I really like that song just because it is about a relationship and not being ready for it. It was nice to not feel like the victim for once in a heartbreak song. "Fatigue" is another one because I made that song last summer when I was sick. I was really sick and could not do anything. I do not credit my physical conditions in my daily life a ton, so I felt this song was a way to raise awareness to illnesses in general with fatigue being a side effect of being sick.
SP: What is on your current playlist?
Minenger: I just found out about Thundercat. I like him. I like Princess Nokia. I also listen to a lot of local artists too. I keep my playlist with the famous people that I listen to. My playlist is always changing because I listen to a lot of my friends’ music and try to support them.
nP0 next scheduled performance in Champaign-Urbana is on Friday, September 28th at the Independent Media Center, opening for Kweku Collins and JPEGMAFIA at PYGMALION.
Top photo provided by Minenger.