Unique voices is what keeps us coming back for more. You know who has a unique voice? Dana Williams (DW). You may not be familiar with her at the moment but she should be an artist on your radar. With hit covers on YouTube to landing an incredibly high place on ABC͛s Rising Star, you’ll wish you knew about her years ago.
Let’s start from the beginning. I’ve read many articles that your father, David Williams, was the one who motivated you to get into music. What was it that you loved the most about music? Performing, creating lyrics, having your voice out there, or something entirely different?
DW – I think my relationship to music is always changing. Initially, I was in love with writing lyrics, then I fell in love with writing music and arranging and it wasn’t until later that I fell in love with performing. I don’t really think of my voice as being ‘out there’ but I guess it is. I just really enjoy being a part of something creative.
Being on ABC’s Rising Star and covering songs on YouTube could be pretty crazy right? Especially since you’re putting yourself out there in front of who knows who is behind the screen! What have you learned most about being on the small screen?
DW – I’ve mostly learned that it is important to create content that I am confident about because that shines through the most. Also, I have really learned how to flip a great pop song into my own style and I have a lot of fun doing it.
What was it that triggered you to decide to put up covers and videos up on YouTube in the first place? It seems like the number one choice to do so for a lot of rising talent.
DW – I think I mostly just stumbled upon YouTube. A couple of people asked me to do covers and I did about one a year for a couple of years, and then I did a cover with my friend Leighton and I began to have more fun posting regularly. It’s nice to be able to communicate so immediately with your followers.
From small screen to big screen, your voice is in the Oscar winning film, Whiplash. What was your reaction from when you were offered this opportunity to actually hearing it in the film?
DW – Well, I knew Damien Chazelle as a drummer initially, so when he asked me if he could put my song in his movie, I thought, ‘Sure, what have I got to lose?’ I am really happy about his success and was really excited to hear my song in his film.
You dropped your sophomore EP late last year and it’s beautiful. Can you tell us a little bit about how this process was different from your first EP, The Lonely One?
DW – I think this sophomore EP is a bit lighter. I did a couple more co-writes. But I think the process behind both were quite similar. There wasn’t too much pressure to create any in particular and that͛s why they flowed so freely and together. I’d say they show two sides of me The Lonely One being mournful and the second Let’s Fall being more romantic and hopeful.
I always respect artists so much because they literally put everything out there in public through their lyrics. Do you ever have moments when you re-think and say things like, “OK… Maybe I shouldn’t say this?”
DW – I always have moments like that and sometimes I try not to be too specific because I don’t want make anyone feel uncomfortable… haha mostly myself.
When can fans expect to hear a debut album or maybe a tour?
DW – I am currently working on my next album, so hopefully within the next year.
When you’re being compared and titled as the “modern day Ella Fitzgerald”, in any way, do you feel pressure of trying to live up to that title?
DW – I don’t feel pressure. I think it’s a wonderful compliment and comparison, but I personally think Ella is entirely unique, haha so I don’t worry about trying to be like her.
Correct me if I’m wrong but I did read that you’d love to collab with Fetty Wap one day? Is this true? I think this would be amazing! If you were chosen to write the song for this, what do you think it’d be about?
DW – Yes, I love Fetty Wap. I think he’s a great songwriter. If we were to write a song together it would probably be a bit romantic. I think he is capable of writing some classic romantic songs with his own twist and that’s what I like about him.
I just came back from New York myself and I know you used to live there. What do you most miss about the city? It’s absolutely breathtaking.
DW – I miss the public transportation system. It’s so great how you can just hop on a train and go anywhere at any time of day and not really have to worry about traffic. I also miss going out to see music.
What would you LOVE to see yourself doing or accomplishing this year? In five years?
DW – I’d love to continue making music and doing what makes me happy. As long as I am surrounded by music, I will be happy.