Dessa's first full-length record, A Badly Broken Code, introduced her to a national audience as a rapper, a singer, and a potent, imaginative lyricist. It earned a binder of superlative reviews from sources like NPR, The Seattle Times, and AM New York. To tour the album, she assembled a small cast of talented instrumentalists to re-interpret the disc for a dynamic live concert. Part rap show and part cabaret, the elegant presentation charmed both audiences and critics—not a negligible feat in hip hop, a genre with its share of purists.

Castor, The Twin captures these new arrangements for ten of Dessa's strongest previously released songs. It also includes "The Beekeeper," the haunting advance single from Dessa's new album, due in 2012. Vibraphone, piano, viola, and stand-up bass give the record a classical, sometimes orchestral sound for a beautiful and somber effect. The album is immediately identifiable as an intimate recording of live players, with fingers sliding on frets and raw, expressive vocals. The organic instrumentation pushes Dessa's lyrics forward, showcasing the imagery and narratives that define her as a songwriter and an emcee.

The album title references the twin brothers Castor and Pollux of Roman mythology, the pair of bright stars in the Gemini constellation. Pollux was part god, a fighter with metal hands. Castor was the mortal of the pair, but the two were inseparable. After cutting her teeth with her Doomtree cohorts behind the boards, this is Dessa's first record with a wholly organic sound—more tender, human versions of the best material she's released so far.

It has been an exciting and exhilarating year for hip­hop and spoken word artist F.Stokes (pronounced F Dot Stokes). 

The unique and ubiquitous MC released his acclaimed EP 'Love, Always.' which features the hit single "My Simple." He
has toured the United States and Europe. He's performed with NAS, Black Star, Matt And Kim, Doomtree, Talib Kweli, 
DMX, Redman and many more. F.Stokes was featured on UK band Bastille's (Virgin/EMI) mixtape 'Other People's 
Heartache 1 & 2' and recently did a "My Simple" remix with Huey Mack.  He's performed at SXSW 2013, the Warped 
Tour, Essence Music Festival, Metropolis Festival in the Netherlands, Summer Set Festival and F. was chosen as one 
of the top ten performers at the Montreal Jazz Festival. Thanks to his fans and supporters F.Stokes surpassed his 
$10,000 Kickstarter goal. He is in the process of recording his new project 'Fearless Beauty' which will be released in 
the summer of 2013.   

Born on the south side of Chicago to a single mother household.  At the age of 12, he and his family moved to 
Madison, Wisconsin – the city he grew to love and consider his hometown.  In Madison, he lived in a one­ room shelter  with his mother and five siblings. Through his childhood and teenage years, F. began to create music, which would 
eventually become his ticket out of Madison and to the rest of the world. His poetry and music evolved simultaneously 
and became his escape, his place of solace. Of his music, Stokes says, "From the moment I was old enough to write it 
became my best friend." 

At 19, F.Stokes made the move to New York with $30 in his pocket to pursue his dream and continue creating. He did 
anything he could to stay afloat in New York  worked as a bathroom attendant, waiter, busboy, dish washer, food runner, bar back, and doorman. Reflecting on his past and present, he continues to write. 

The negative (his father's life prison sentence, childhood poverty, drug sales, guns) and the positive (the strong bond with his mother, his belief that we all have the ability to save someone's life, and his motto "aspire to inspire") fuel his art. 

Today, F.Stokes is bringing his blend of hiphop and poetry across the globe. His stage presence is simply captivating; attracting and engaging crowds of all demographics and backgrounds, by mixing provocatively cuttingedge lyrics, with superb stage presence and engaging his audience. Internationally, F. has make stops in France, England, Amsterdam, Berlin, Austria, Iceland, Denmark, Switzerland and Australi.

In the United States F.Stokes has played venues such as Club Nokia (LA), Chene Park (MI), Bowery Ballroom (NYC), Gramercy Theatre (NYC), Union Transfer (Philadelphia, PA), The Middle East (Boston, MA) and packs The Majestic Theater in his hometown Madison, WI. He feels truly blessed to have made a stop in nearly every state. Stokes lets his experiences shape him, but they do not define him. He uses these experiences to create his art, to reach out to others, to grow. He possesses unparalleled passion and drive to keep pursuing his art. F.Stokes has a long list of musical influences ranging from Patti Smith to Kanye West, but none of these influences shape his music as much as his own life's journey



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