Sometimes a discribtion of ones genre fits like a hand in a glove. When I asked Dana Williams to describe her music to some one the first time the answered with just four words “etheral folk pop blues” hence the title on this interview & Question & Answer session with Dana Williams.
Dana is the daughter of the late David Williams (November 21, 50 – March 6, 2009), a popular sessions guitarist on albums and tours with famous artists like Michael Jackson (and The Jacksons), Madonna, The Temptations, Rod Stewart, Agretha Franklin, Paul McCartney, The Crusaders, Whitney Houston, Diana Ross, Michael McDonals to name a few, feel free to read the full list on Davids Williams wikipedia post. Even if her father played with some of the worlds biggest bands, and artists – and her music isn´t very directly influences, she sites her father as a great inspirastion for her career: “What made me want to make music was probably my dad. He was a rhythm guitar player, songwriter and producer and so growing up I was always around music. Watching him perform and watching his creative process really inspired me. He worked really hard at what he did and so that inspired me to work really hard at what I do”
Dana Williams has also a sister, Davida Williams, and she is a singer and a actress known for series “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” the famous sitcom with actor/rapper Will Smith, and been part of the teen sitcom Lizzie McGuire with Hillary Duff and more series and movies.
When you hear “Keep Me Waiting”, the debut single from Dana Williams, you hear a folk inspired voice classic soul inspired – voice, with hints of Duffy (remember her?), a thick layer of strings, piano, acustic guitars and trip hop inspired drums. All sounding like live instruments. Her vocal inspiration comes from Ella Fitzgerald, since falling inn love with her sound when she was young; “I really admire her skill and sound and so that really encouraged me to work on my vocal capabilities”
I even think I hear a little Corrine Bailey Rae in her voice and a bit Lion Babe´s vocalist Jillian Hervey & musician Lucas Goodman inspiration in her voice and sound, and when asking if she had heard and if there was any link between her and the duo she said “I have known Jillian of Lion Babe for a little while, she is a lovely person. I love their music but I wouldn’t say our vibes are similar. I guess you could say our vibes are similar, in that, they are new.” If you haven´t heard Lion Babe check out the blogpost about them here. Highly recommended if you like Dana Williams!
The sound of “Keep Me Waiting” is down earthy folk soul, and if this – or her future release will be released on vinyl I know I have to get it. Dana Williams is a young artists – and this shines through when I asked her about her prefered listening format; “The way we listen to music has changed so much as of recently and now that the internet has made everything so much more accessible, while I love listening to Vinyl on my record player, it is too easy to stream stuff online 😦 It’s all about immediate gratification”
On the other hand she´s a big fan of the really old legends of soul – because when I asked her who musician she would prefer working with – any living or dead – her answer was quite surprising “I think it would be cool to play with Sam Cooke. I think singing a duet with him would be awesome and satisfying, I love singing harmonies and his style is amazing”.
…And if i should conclude this Q&A session I guess the answer to Dana Williams classic folk-pop-soul sound, is the combination of her inspirations – the way and music format she prefers to listen to her influences, and then making up her own mix of music that sounds both old and new at the same time.
There will be more music from Dana Williams, she has a plan for her future “I plan on releasing an EP within the next couple of months. It will sound similar to the single I released “Keep Me Waiting”. “It was written by me and produced by Maxwell Drummey (Lauryn Hill) of Chester French and Dan Stringer so the sound is pretty consistent”.