Mount Island’s Village Voices is a series of bite-sized interviews featuring diverse rural artists. If you’re interested in being featured, email us at email@example.com.
DonnCherie is a singer-songwriter, dancer, model, and visual artist. Since finding a home in Vermont in 2009, she has captivated audiences with her dark lyrics and sultry voice. She is a storyteller at heart and this is apparent in everything she does, from the costumes she embodies or the mood she sets in her songs. DonnCherie is the co-founder of two dance troupes ‘Dark Pride’ and ‘Leanan Sidhe,’ and she lends her unique vocal style to many music projects. She is a thoughtful and provocative artist with a unique ability to find the soul of the ordinary. If you would like to find out ways to book or support DonnCherie, contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit her website.
What are you digging right now in terms of music, movies, new shows, books?
The Chi, I May Destroy You, and really anything done by Jordan Peele. Oh man! I am such a fan of that cat! I like watching the Twilight Zone series and being drawn into the characters and story so much so that you live in them for a bit. You get taken for a ride.. you know and you want to go!
Tell us a story about one of the first times you took up your practice as a writer, artist, dancer, etc.—the first time you put pen to page, brush to canvas, etc. If you work in different mediums, what came first?
Wow! So….. I have always been drawn to the arts. I mean when I was little I used to sing along with the radio holding a broom handle and made up plays. In fact, my dad used to draw a little, he could be pretty creative. He showed me how to draw simple things like dogs and cats etc. One day though, me and my big sister were building a haunted house in our basement to entertain ourselves and half the neighborhood kids. My uncle James was over the house while we were doing this, and he drew a very colorful picture of a dragon to hang in the doorway. It was really badass, man and I was sprung! I was hooked on art from there on out. From there I gravitated to many creative things. But it took me until I was forty before I took the leap and began to trust my own creativity. I think music came first, then visual arts, then dance…and on and on.
How does living in a rural place or a connection to a rural place (small town, or teeny-tiny city, village, etc.) impact how and what you create?
Truthfully, I don’t know many musicians that play my kind of music. So that often times I find myself spending more time explaining myself. But on the flipside there are a lot of supportive artists around me that are willing to try (shrugs). Plus it’s hard not to be inspired in such a beautiful place. In fact I would go as far to say that it was here in Vermont that I learned to listen to my own voice.
COVID-19 has affected everyone in the world in different ways. What are your thoughts about this moment and what it could mean for other creatives and artists? What has been the impact to your creative flow?
I think all artists have had to change their “how.” I did a series of online concerts at the beginning of the summer, it was very different because you don’t get the energy from the audience. But then at the same time the introvert in me has been more creative than ever and I’ve written more songs and have worked on honing my media presence and brand. I’m so embarrassed to admit it took a pandemic and a lock down of sorts to force me to pursue a solo performing thing! Seriously, once I ripped the bandaid off, it was so much fun and I got to connect with my listeners on a more intimate level. I’ll definitely be doing more virtual concerts in the future. It also lit a fire under me to start working on an album again.
Imagine you must write a note in a bottle and send it to another rural artist living all alone on some desert island berry patch? What would you want to say to them?
Hmm… Hey there creator! Strange times huh? What kind of art do you live? It’s a trip being alone in the maze of your mind right? But hey we wouldn’t have it any other way! Let’s keep in touch. Hang in there! What an adventure!