Updated: Mar 1, 2021
Recently, I had the pleasure of chatting with Doris Anne. The female country rapper known for her No Fucks Given attitude and her humble way of relating to anyone she speaks to. After having our interview, I couldn't help feeling like my written words could never touch the raw conversation we had for a good two hours.
The next day I called her back and asked her if I could give her another option on how to present her interview. She didn't hang up so I proceeded to tell her how I wanted to erase what we had talked about and have her give the written form of her answers. She surprisingly still hadn't hung up and stayed on the phone. She said yes and didn't even curse me out.
Here is our Q&A:
Q: Where were you born and what was your childhood like?
A: I was born and raised in a small town called Verona, Kentucky. I am the youngest of 10 children raised by a single mother. My childhood was spent in the vegetable/tobacco fields and in the barns with the livestock. My childhood was also different than most. We had very little but we had enough to get by. I didn't come from money, everything we had we either grew or raised. Growing up I learned how to drive a tractor on my momma's lap at the age of three. I wrecked my first four-wheeler (ran a little 80cc up a tree and it rolled on top of me at the age of 4. My summers were focused on 4-H and FFA competitions, livestock judging & market sales, and at the age of 8, I began running my own roadside vegetable stand. As I got older I enjoyed playing basketball and discovered my love for writing poetry. When I entered my teen years things became really hard. I was molested/raped as a child (he is currently still in jail) and my mother's mental health became a traumatic experience we all had to go through. I never let her demons change my view of her as the strongest, most hard-working person I have ever met in my life. At this point, I was juggled between houses. Missing the only constant I ever had. I ended up becoming a cutter and falling into a deep depression. I used writing to conquer my own demons and so I could move forward to help others. I've always been passionate about helping others. Even if it meant making how I felt worse. I was raised to give the shirt off my back to everyone even if it meant not having one for myself. I learned to take all the trauma I had faced in life and turn it into power to help others who face the same things. At only age 14, I welcomed my daughter into the world. She became my reason and my will to push forward and stay on the right path. I dropped out of school with a 4.0. The day I turned 16 I got my GED and 2 weeks later I started college. I worked two full-time jobs and was a full-time student in college just to provide for my daughter. My childhood wasn't much of a childhood but I strongly believe that it taught me many things I needed to be able to face the real world and the path that God has chosen for me.
Q: When did you first know you wanted to be a musician?
A: I won't ever say that I wanted to be a musician. However, I remember being that little girl with a wild, crazy dream that I believed was way out of reach. I remember dancing around a tobacco trailer with a tobacco stick in my hand pretending it was a mic, singing "Honey I'm Home" by Shania Twain. I remember long days following behind the tobacco setter as my siblings and I sang every word to "Song of the South" by Alabama. One of my most precious memories was of riding in a single cab F350 delivering wood and vegetables as my momma would turn down the radio and tell me "baby, sing it louder". Never in a million years did I ever think I would fall into this the way I have. Nor did I ever believe I would be traveling the USA performing. But once I started I couldn't stop. I fell in love with all of it, from writing to recording, to watching the crowds sing along with me. It was the rush that took everything away and made me feel like just Doris Anne.
Q: What was your first live show like? A: My very first show was in Texas opening for Charlie Farley. Anyone that knows me knows that I will always be me no matter where I am or who I am with. That weekend was amazing! Filled with guitar picking in one of the cabins to finding a scorpion, and performing my first show right after hitting a mud bog going 50 mph in a can-am. I was covered head to toe in mud/sand. I was terrified and nervous. In order to attempt to break the ice another artist actually proposed to me on stage, I was so terrified I could have cried, but I got on stage and I rapped out every last word. (My stage performance has definitely gotten better since then as every show is a new learning experience) the memories from that first show will last a lifetime.
Q: Where do you feel this genre we call country rap/hick-hop is going? A: I hope that in due time Country Rap as a genre prospers and expands. I feel like there's a lot of fortified beef that distances fans from the genre. I feel like artists are more focused on individual fan bases than they are on the genre as a whole and that breaks down the genre by making fans feel as they have to choose one side or the other. I understand that in every industry there will be beef and issues but if something doesn't directly affect you, I feel as there is plenty of room for everyone to grow and sit at the same table to eat. When I came into this as a fan, I fell in love with the fact that I felt like there was a bond, a family... But seeing all the bull crap in the genre I now feel like the fan base is just these artist's kids they are in a custody battle to win. Telling them what they want to hear and just hoping they pick dad over mom. It's sickening. I have a group of people I call family now that were once just fans of my music. Some openly like other artists that I don't like or have had issues with in the past, but who am I to say they can't like us both? I wouldn't stop calling them my family for that reason either. My fans know my stance, I'm very vocal about it. I speak the truth and have nothing to hide. I would feel horrible not only as a person but as an artist if I had to win my fanbase over by being a bully. My fanbase inspires me to bring my very best to the mic every time I hit a stage. I also inspire them to be the raw uncut No Fucks Given versions of themselves by having No Fucks Left to give to anyone or anything that doesn't empower growth. I have seen this growth in those close to me and it makes my heart happy.
Q: What other jobs did you work prior to doing music?
A: Jobs I did prior to becoming an artist, I was a C/O and I worked in an addiction recovery facility. I also farm.
Q: Do you consider yourself a country rapper?
A: I don't really know if I consider myself a country rapper or not. I'm a fan of country rap but I feel like the term "Country Rapper" no longer means what it should. When someone outside the genre hears the words country rap, they make a mockery out of it. They automatically assume it being hick-hop (mud trucks and beer). Or they assume that we are racist or bigots. They don't fully understand that we, ourselves, are artists from the country that rap. They assume it's some giant country pissing game about who can be the countriest of all. To me being a "country rapper" means actually being from the country and you are a rapper of country ways. I strive on being real, to myself and my fans.
Country Rap holds a very loyal and respected fan base that you don't see in other genres. The fans are humble and accepting of all life's corners. Age is not a thing in country rap. 30 years old or 45 years old, if you can still spit bars, these fans will listen. The past on which they rap about is where the fans relate. Addiction and recovery, death of loved ones, growing up and living in poverty, farm life, past prison stints, father and motherhood, backwoods fishing, weekend drinking, mud parks. Basically, Raising Hell and Eating Cornbread to name a few. This has proven to be the recipe for developing ride or die fan bases. Some of these artists will claim to be or believe in something that is nothing more than a persona to them. It becomes an act to fit in, simply because they couldn't do it just being themselves. The hold on the fan base in country rap is strong and overpowering for those fans who trust every word some artists say but are really tricked and confused into believing they are country by the half-truths told about who they are. I'm in no way dissing these artists, I just feel that I can't classify myself in a category that is no longer real to its name when so many fakes are backed with money.
Q: What is the craziest thing that has happened to you on the road? A: The craziest thing to ever happen to me on the road, well that wouldn't be appropriate to discuss, however the most heart whelming experience would be having an mc break down in tears after hearing my song "Hold On" (A song about addiction) and finding out he had come from a memorial ride for his son who passed away (from an overdose). Many others have also come forward and used the words "my music saved their lives" or how many have reached out and got help due to mental illness or addiction due to me or my music... that to me has meant more than money ever could.
Q: How has your hometown faired during this Covid 19 shut down?
A: The small-town businesses are shutting down permanently. People are struggling hard. Not everyone has returned back to work and it's taking its toll on everyone, mentally, physically, and financially. Farmers are struggling because people more so now are preferring chain stores over hand to hand business for livestock or crops. And now the president just made life for the independent farmers harder due to budget cuts. It's rough but I believe that we all have been through much worse and we will all make it out of this. God has a plan and soon we will see why.
Q: If it all ended today what would be next for you? A: As most of my followers know, I stepped away from music back in October. I've always lived by 'family first'. I had some family issues that made it feel like it was impossible to continue to put the amount of effort I needed to continue creating content and take care of my family. A week or so in, it was great! My phone wasn't ringing, my messenger wasn't always blowing up. But at the end of the day, I missed it. I missed it all. My momma didn't raise a quitter. If it all were to end today, life would be no different. I'd still write. I'd still do everything that I'm doing now. I have dismantled my platform twice since I started this. I don't do this for the money (cause as all artists know, we're starving) I don't do this for the fame (they can keep that shit). I do this for the real people who know and understand that it doesn't matter what happened to "end this". I was born a warrior and I will rise back up. When you show your fan/family this, they take your power and turn it into their own. It gives them something to believe in, that no matter what happens in life to bring them down, no matter what mistakes were made, or what they did or didn't do... It makes it evident that they can rise above it. That they are stronger than they believe and that they learn from the choices they made. Another saying I live by is "Cowgirl up and dust yourself off" you keep trying and trying and eventually you will get where you want to be. So to answer your question, it will never be over for me... Not until I'm laid 6ft beneath the grass.
Shoutouts: The team I walked in with and the people I had in my corner were amazing. Even though our paths have all led in different directions I still want to thank them. Because if it wasn't for them, I would have never had the balls to do this. The team I have now have picked me up at my lowest and have never given up on me. My fans/family never disappoint and always show out. They are definitely amazing and I wouldn't trade my fan base for the world. You can keep your 50 people in your corner, I'll keep my 5 that will smack the fuck out of them for free. They're all the real MVPs!
This is where our interview ended but the conversation went on as I was intrigued with everything we had just spoken about. I definitely made the right choice by doing this as a Q&A. Thank you Doris for trusting me and putting in work as well.
Doris Anne just released the songs "Bourbon On Ice" and "My Whole World". She has a video out for her song called "Blacksheep". She has also released a song called "Watch What You Say" featuring Leroy Biggs. Her song called "That's Me", is my personal favorite. You can hear her progression from each song and its safe to say she has found her voice and 2021 will prove this.
In 2021, Doris has big plans in the works, but in the meantime, she has plans to release a back catalog she has been sitting on. The catalog includes a song pertaining to her views on how addiction has affected her loved ones. As we watch the females of this industry this year, Doris Anne should be one to follow.