Ivy Roots Performs at DMACC

Singer/Songwriter Ivy Roots performed her original songs and covers in concert to the DMACC community in celebration of International Women’s Day during a live event on March 8.  

The hour-long event was sponsored by the DMACC Office of Community & Global Engagement, DMACC Diversity Commission, and the Ankeny Campus Student Activities Council. The event was hosted on Zoom and featured Roots’s music as well as Q&A sessions focusing on women’s empowerment and Roots’s journey as a woman of color in the music industry. The event was free and open to the public.  

Roots began the event by performing a few of her original songs, “Blame,” “Home,” and “Often,” a long song about meeting a rare person that “doesn’t come around often.” She sang her song “Break It All,” explaining that the melody came to her one day at the bus stop, and her song “Last Forever.” Roots accompanied herself on acoustic guitar from her home and was joined by her music partnerRyan, on the electric guitar.  

Roots then sang a few covers, including Aaliyah’s “Are You That Somebody,” Lauryn Hill’s “Doo-Wop,” Frank Ocean’s “Thinkin’ Bout You,” and Jazmine Sullivan’s “Need U Bad.” Roots put her own twist on the popular songs, much to the audience’s delight.  

Roots told the audience she draws inspiration from many women in the music industry, including Beyoncé, Whitney Houston, and Nina Simone.  

Nina Simone is definitely one of my top favorite inspirations,” Roots said. “She has this really great quote, Freedom is no fear,’ and I really resonate with that, being fearless in everything you do whether that’s artistry or whatever you’re pursuing.”  

Roots also opened up about her experiences as a woman of color in the music industry and the challenges she faces.  

Overcoming challenges as a woman of color in the music industry is very unique. I think you deal with a lot of misogynoirwhich is the intersection of gender and race,” Roots said. “I think you overcome that by being fearless. For me, that’s creating spaces where women can advance the discussion being had and where women can create, network, and build each other up. 

According to the event organizer Holly Clark, Roots’s experiences made her the perfect musical guest for this event.  

When Ivy’s team reached out to me last year about possibly having her perform at a DMACC event, I was really excited. I thought she could be a great fit during the month of March as part of our International Women’s Day celebration,” Clark said.  

Clark said she was very happy with how the concert went and the response to Roots’s performance.  

You can tell Ivy emits so much positive energy, and it could be felt through our computer screens. She’s very easy to talk to and to work with, and I know our audience found her responses to our questions very insightful and meaningful,” said Clark. “I know I was left feeling inspired, upbeat, and empowered after the event. 

College Success Coach Alex Cullison said he liked that the event was different from others hosted by his department and enjoyed hearing Roots’s performance and perspective.  

It’s great to be able to uplift and support artists who create art around these topics,” Cullison said. “While Ivy’s songs weren’t directly about International Women’s DayI think they’re very much grounded in her experiences as a Black woman in the Midwest. I think it’s important to lift this kind of work and encourage everyone at DMACC to reflect on them, too. 

Cullison said the event was a great addition to International Women’s Day.  

I think this event was a way for me to reflect on the importance of International Women’s Day and International Women’s Month more intentionally than just posting on social media or other sorts of passive celebrations,” Cullison said.  

Clark said she hopes the event made an impact on those in attendance.  

I’m hoping that other women, as well as everyone else in the audience, felt that same sense of inspiration and positivity after listening to Ivy’s music and hearing her story and perspectives as a woman of color in the music industry,” said Clark.  

Ivy Roots’s music can be found on Apple Music, Spotify, iTunes, and other streaming platforms.  

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