Angela Marie “Ani” DiFranco, is an American folk singer-songwriter born in 1970. She is considered a feminist icon and one of the pioneers of the DIY movement, which was against the distribution by the major record labels and in favor of the production of music by independent labels. Ani’s music is close to punk, funk, hip hop, jazz, soul, and electronic.
Ani, known since the beginning as the “little folksinger”, founded her own record label, Righteous Babe Records, in 1989 and published her first album, Ani DiFranco, one year later.
During those years she joined the riot grrrl feminist movement and thanks to this experience she published the following albums Not So Soft (1991), Imperfectly (1992) e Puddle Dive (1993), in which her progressive rock sound became more and more aggressive and raw.
In 1994, DiFranco published Out of Rage, returning to her folk influences and her songwriting skills, as in the subsequent albums Not a Pretty Girl (1995) and Dilate (1996). At this moment of her career, Ani sold more than one million copies of her albums without having signed with a major record label.
In the following years, Ani produced relentlessly one album per year, thanks to which she was able to explore different genres and to address political and personal issues. In 2003 she published Evolve, winning a Grammy Award as Best Record of the Year in 2004.
In 2005, after her father’s death, Ani published Knuckle Down: the track “Recoil” talks about the illness of Ani’s father and her difficulty in being close to him.
In 2008 DiFranco released Red Letter Year which was an album inspired by the birth of her daughter, her relationship with Mike Napolitano, and the upcoming American presidential elections.
In 2013 Ani received the prestigious Artistic Achievement Award during the Winnipeg Folk Festival and the honorary Ph.D. at Winnipeg’s University.
After the release of Binary (2017), which granted her the possibility to perform in Italy during her international tour (at Villa Ada in Rome and at Carroponte in Milan), Ani published in 2021 her latest album Revolutionary Love, a record that once again mirrored her musical production: the perfect mix between folk, R&B and jazz-pop, which was extremely appreciated by the public and the critics.