Ani DiFranco has been a multi-hyphenate polymath for some time. As a singer-songwriter-activist-entrepreneur-author, she’s released 25 albums and written hundreds of songs in the past 30 years. Now she’s adding a new venture: indie radio producer.
On Tuesday, the “Not a Pretty Girl” singer announced that Righteous Babe Radio will launch April 15th (beginning at 10 p.m. ET) from her home studio in New Orleans, and will include live music, bootlegs, book excerpts, talks, interviews, and other spoken-word projects from DiFranco, Righteous Babe artists, and others. The first thing she will broadcast on the new 24-hour streaming radio station will be an unreleased Ani DiFranco show that took place in Atlanta at the Variety Playhouse in 2013.
While there will certainly be plenty of music — she will be “sharing the music of my brilliant friends and collaborators … nerding out on revered influences … amplifying the sounds and words of my political and cultural inspirations” — DiFranco hints that she sees the scope of the streaming radio station as something much broader.
“I love national public radio, I love community radio, I love college radio,” DiFranco states. “Living [not super commercial] radio has been a companion to me my whole life. I shudder to think where our ‘informed electorate’ would be without NPR. I’ve never been lonely in New Orleans thanks to Oz. In the aftermath of Katrina, even local talk radio became an essential community bulletin and information lifeline.”
Last year, DiFranco published her first book, a memoir titled No Walls and the Recurring Dream, in which she discussed her early years making music — as well as meeting and recording with Prince, touring with Bob Dylan, and becoming a feminist icon. “I’ve been through the wringer so many times,” she told Rolling Stone at the time. “And this is definitely a new level of oversharing that I’m sure will bring new levels of criticism and opinion my way.”