Years ago, WGBH News' Henry Santoro used to spin records at another Boston radio station and turned audiences onto music such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam, The Pixies and a punky, new folk-rock singer named Ani DiFranco. DiFranco is a social activist who changed the music industry. She's recently published a memoir, No Walls And The Recurring Dream, in which she looks back at her unconventional path within the music industry and activism. She joined Santoro at WGBH for an in-studio interview to talk about her life growing up in Buffalo, her passions, feminism and politics. The interview below has been slightly edited for clarity.

Henry Santoro: The "No Walls" portion of your title is a metaphor for lots of things in your life that show up in this book, but it all begins with growing up in a house with no walls.

Ani DiFranco: Yeah. It all begins with the literal. No walls. No walls in the house I grew up in — I mean none.

Santoro: You had the outside walls. Big, open area, live-in space. You're a kid from Buffalo. You started performing for audiences at age 9. By 19 years of age, you had your own record label, Righteous Babe Records, and you've released over 20 LP’s, that it sold upwards of six million copies. Ani, that's not bad for a kid from Buffalo, is it?

DiFranco: No, I'll tell you, I could be slinging chicken wings right now.

Santoro: We were wondering if there’s a feminist line that can be drawn from people like Cardi B and Nicki Minaj to someone like you? They too are not afraid to speak out when it comes to ownership of their bodies or their sexuality or the power that women can have. Is there a line that can be drawn there?

DiFranco: Well, you know what I'm not too familiar with those women and their work. So, I don't know that I can speak to that specifically. But I mean, for me feminism is not just about self-empowerment. I think maybe it started out that way. It has grown in every way. At this point in my life, I see feminism as sort of well, simply put, the path to peace on earth. But that's a much longer discussion. I think that it's about addressing patriarchy, which any human being can do. Male, female, in between, other. And I think it's a job we must all do together in order to heal the fundamental imbalance in society.

Santoro: Are you following politics these days?

DiFranco: Oh, well, you know, it's hard not to. And I am extremely encouraged by all these beautiful, young faces showing up in Washington, many women, brave new souls, brave new souls.

Santoro: Let me ask you this. Where are the protest songs?

DiFranco: Mm. Yeah. I don't know, I could ask you that too.

Santoro: I ask so many people that question and nobody can come up with an answer.

DiFranco: Well, I do have an answer for you, and I think it's a solid one. Hip hop and rap. I don't know where all the political songs are in the acoustic world. They're just too few and far between still.

Santoro: Ani DiFranco, this has been great. Thank you so much for all those years of great music that you have regaled us with and now for sharing the backstory of your life. The book is called No Walls And The Recurring Dream.