LOCAL NEWS

Utah Mom Lives Second Life As Aspiring Rapper

Sep 1, 2019, 9:11 PM | Updated: 10:55 pm

UTAH COUNTY, Utah — Not all superheroes wear capes, but a secret identity is a must.

“He’s just very into drawing on the walls and on the stairs,” said Dixie Mann, as she worked with a rag to remove a bit of abstract artwork from the steps of her home.

Right now, her Fortress of Solitude is silent.

“The only reason the house is clean is because my kids are at a soccer game,” Mann said. “It is easier when they’re not here, because I can focus.”

Among her powers, super speed and super patience — but she’s got an aversion to the typical term.

“It sounds like a directive to me: ‘Stay at home, mom,'” Mann said with a laugh. “I actually prefer the old school term, ‘homemaker,’ because it describes what I do a lot better.”

A glimpse of the games, or a glance at the books, and you might think you’ve got her figured out.

“On the outside, I look very typical, seem very typical, Utah lady,” Mann laughed. “I’m not, really.”

She certainly does have a secret identity — it may be the homemaker, or it may be the other persona — even she can’t say for sure.

“Sometimes I say ‘Yeah, I’m a rapper,” said Mann. “I get looked up and down, because I am not what you would expect a rapper to look like.”

Back when she was a girl, Mann trained as a classical singer, but self-doubt was her kryptonite.

“I won lots of awards in my youth for singing,” she said. “I wasn’t brave enough to pursue music as a career. I just didn’t think it would work out.”

The years passed. One kid turned to four. But the dream never faded.

“I honestly thought that once I had my children that the desire to pursue music would just kind of vanish, and it would be filled with children instead,” said Mann. “That didn’t happen.”

Spurred by a love of hip-hop, she wrote her own songs, tracked down a producer, and hired a wedding videographer to shoot and edit a couple of music videos.

“You can do a lot lyrically with a rap, because it’s really quick and you can squeeze a lot of information into one song,” she said. “It’s a lot of fun to mess with words that way.”

Doubt was her constant companion. She worried about not fitting the mold of what a “rapper” is supposed to look like. She worried about attempting to enter a business where many start their careers as teenagers. She worried about what other moms would think.

“Oh, I doubted myself big time,” she said. “I still doubt myself. Is anyone going to like this? I have no idea!”

Not all superheroes wear capes, but you won’t find many without a costume. On this particular night, Mann’s meeting two friends/backup dancers at a place called The Rise in Orem. They’ve got matching outfits, and Mann struggles to put on a blue wig, while checking her reflection in a nearby TV.

“As a mom, you don’t have a ton of time to deal with your hair and your makeup,” she said. “So a lot of the time when I perform, I just put a wig on.”

Tonight, she’s putting her skills to the test — Mann’s auditioning to be involved with a new recording label.

But the funny thing is, part of her has always wished she could forget about wanting to be here. Part of her wanted the dream to die.

“So I could just get on with my life and not think about this massive dream that I had, because it would be easier not to have the dream,” she said. “It’d be easier to just raise my family and focus on that. But it never did. I couldn’t ignore it anymore.”

Although some may initially think the opposite, Mann says chasing that dream has actually helped her be a better mother.

“Instead of daydreaming all day long of what I could be doing instead of changing diapers or mopping the floor, I’m actually doing it,” she said. “I’ve been able to compartmentalize my time with my kids and my time with music. Instead of splitting my mind between the two, I’m now pursuing both, and have been able to give more heart into both areas instead of being split all the time.”

Although doubt was certainly a huge hurdle for her to overcome, Mann says one of her biggest struggles was getting past her feelings of guilt.

“Some women have the dream of raising a family, and that’s fantastic,” she said. “But if you have a bit more than that, if it’s something else besides raising children, that’s okay too. You shouldn’t feel guilty about it, like I did — for years, you know? It’s okay to be interested in other things besides your family. There’s nothing wrong with that.”

As Mann prepares to step onto the stage for her audition, she says she’s largely gotten over the feelings of wondering what people will think of her pursuits — because if there’s one thing she’s learned, it’s the importance of making sure both superhero and secret identity can live together in harmony.

“Just follow your path,” she said. “Don’t be afraid of what you feel like you’re supposed to be doing with your life.  Just do it.  Even if it makes you feel uncomfortable, even if it make you feel like an outsider, or strange — that is your path, and everybody’s path is different.”

Mann was invited back for a second round of auditions.  If you’d like to check out her work, she has accounts on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook, and her own website, dixiemann.com.

Dixie Mann performs on stage at The Rise in Orem. Mann meets one of the people who will be watching her audition. Dixie Mann puts on a wig prior to a performance at The Rise in Orem. Mann performs on top of a car in one of her music videos. Dixie Mann raps in one of her music videos. Mann pulls towels out of the dryer. Mann explains how pursuing her dreams has helped make her a better mother. Dixie Mann takes advantage of an empty house to pick up a few toys. Mann and her backup dancers perform at The Rise in Orem.

 

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

Two victims in a Hit-and-run in Sugarhouse speak to KSL News on Friday. (Emma Benson, KSL News)...

Emma Benson

Sugarhouse hit and run victims speak out

Two Sugarhouse women are speaking out after they were involved in a hit-and-run.

1 hour ago

UDOT Traffic Camera showcasing the fatal crash in South Jordan. (KSL News)...

Alexander Campbell

South Jordan crash results in one fatality, closes I-15 on ramp

Interstate 15 is closed at 11400 South while Utah Highway Patrol investigates a fatal crash on Friday.

2 hours ago

SLCPD officers pulling the the man off the parking garage ledge. (The Salt Lake City Police Departm...

Alex Cabrero

Body cam video shows police officers save man’s life during mental health crisis

Many people who live or work in downtown Salt Lake City often have very normal days. 

3 hours ago

A picture of the dead, Provo Police officer Joseph Shinners, that was being used in the courtroom o...

Emily Ashcraft, KSL.com

Attorneys urge jury to consider intent in trial for man accused of murdering Provo officer

The trial for the man accused of murdering Joseph Shinners began Friday. Matt Hoover's attorneys said he meant to shoot himself that fateful day, not Shinners.

3 hours ago

Leah Moses...

Annie Knox

Utah lawmakers pass ‘Om’s Law,’ focused on child safety in custody decisions

Utah lawmakers gave final passage to bill requiring judges to consider evidence of domestic violence raised in child custody cases.

3 hours ago

Layton High School (KSL TV)...

Michael Houck

Layton High School student in custody after being found with a gun on school grounds

Police arrested a student after he was found with a weapon while at Layton High School Friday morning.

4 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Utah Mom Lives Second Life As Aspiring Rapper