Local Current Blog

Dessa contributes to Lin-Manuel Miranda hurricane relief single

Dessa portrait by Nate Ryan | MPR

Update: “Almost Like Praying” is out, and it features all 22 of its vocalists reciting the names of all 78 towns in Puerto Rico, from Adjuntas to Yauco. Lin-Manuel Miranda begins the song by quoting West Side Story: “Say it loud and there’s music playing/ Say it soft and it’s almost like praying.” Without coincidence, the lyrics come from the song “Maria.” Near the end, salsa legend Gilberto Santa Rosa declares, “Sí somos Boricua” — or “Yes we are Boricua.”

Dessa will appear on Lin-Manuel Miranda’s upcoming hurricane relief single for Puerto Rico. The single, “Almost Like Praying,” features more than 20 artists including Miranda himself. This isn’t Dessa’s first time collaborating with Miranda; in 2016 she recorded the song “Congratulations” for The Hamilton Mixtape. Dessa, who is half Puerto Rican, has been active on social media since news broke about the destruction of Hurricane Maria.

Miranda announced the full lineup of the track’s featured artists on Twitter on Wednesday. In addition to Dessa, the list includes Luis Fonsi, Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, and Camila Cabello, just to name a few. To announce the single, Miranda released a Spotify playlist on Wednesday that includes songs by all of the contributors, including Dessa’s “Call Off Your Ghost.” Spotify is making a donation to the Hispanic Federation UNIDOS Disaster Relief Fund on behalf of the playlist’s followers. Miranda announced the song’s artwork and title earlier today.

The single is available at 12:01am on Friday and proceeds will go to the Hispanic Federation.

Colleen Cowie is a student at Macalester College. She hosts the show Locally Sourced on WMCN.