Photo: Monique Chavez
Our next woman to watch is Dana Williams, a singer/songwriter from Los Angeles, CA. For Dana, songwriting came at a very early age. Her father, a rhythm guitarist for legends such as Michael Jackson, Madonna & more, would bring home pop tracks for Dana to write full songs to as an afternoon activity. You could say Dana's skills came naturally, and as one of the more promising voices of the year, we can't wait for what's next for her.
We recently sat down with Dana to talk about her music, her favorite karaoke song, and why she thinks there should be more women in the industry.
Make sure to check out her live Her Music Club performance of her song 'No Pressure' below and listen to her new song 'Preach' out today! xx
How did you first get started in music?
My dad was a musician so I always had music around. He was a guitar player and always had guitars laying around.
I recently saw an Instagram post of your dad playing guitar for Chaka Khan. Who else did he play for?
My dad mostly played for Michael Jackson. He was his rhythm guitar player.
When did you first get into songwriting and what was your first song about?
I first got into songwriting with my dad because he would always bring home a pop track and have me write a verse, chorus, a second verse, and a bridge. I've always sort of written toplines to songs. It was kind of a fun activity we would do together. When I started playing guitar seriously I started writing my own music from scratch. I probably first wrote a sad song or something. I've always written sad songs haha. I don't really remember but I have been writing songs for most of my life.
Which one of your songs is the best introduction to your catalogue?
Honey. It seems to have gained a lot of traction and I think it's a good example of what my music is about. It's sort of a mellow, melancholy, ambient track about heartache.
Photo: Monique Chavez
Do you have an album coming out or what's next for you?
I plan to release a song every month. I'm not necessarily working on a full album or EP, but I've been writing a lot and I plan to release a song every few weeks until the unforeseeable future.
Are you touring right now?
I'm not touring but I do play a lot of shows around LA and I'll be playing in Las Vegas at the Emerge Festival in April.
You have a couple of songs with Rejjie Snow and one of my favorites is Egyptian Luvr. How did you get together with him?
I was introduced to my friend Stefan Ponce a couple of years ago and we were kind of working on music via email. One day he emailed me and said he was in LA for the weekend and in the studio with this rapper named Rejjie Snow. He invited me to come over and meet them and that was the first time I met the both of them. Rejjie and I hit it off and we've been making music ever since.
Do you have any advice for female singer/songwriters who want to do it their way and are too afraid because they think that won’t fit into the pop world?
Just don't worry about what people will think is cool because ultimately the right people will start gravitating towards you. I think it would be more challenging to be inauthentic because then you have to convince people, as well as yourself, that what you are doing is true and I think people can see through that.
What artist are you excited about this year?
I'm really excited about Daniel Ceasar. I love his music and his whole aesthetic.
What's your go to karaoke song?
I haven't done karaoke in a while but I normally sing 'Crazy' by Patsy Cline.
Photo: Monique Chavez
What does being a woman in music mean to you?
I think it goes hand in hand with authenticity because it's very easy for people to project who you are onto you and you have to be very clear about your intentions and beliefs.
Do you have any stories where you felt like you weren’t being taken seriously because you are a woman? From venues, labels, agencies, etc.?
Sound guys. Sound guys are really....haha. I definitely think that I've had to sort of work on the language that I use because if I seem unsure of myself then it appears as though I don't know what I'm doing or what I'm talking about. I've learned that I have to be very clear about what I want.
Do you work with any women producers or engineers?
I tend to work predominantly with men on a regular basis but I've sort of been cultivating creative females to surround myself with recently and that's been really nice to have that sort of support system. Female songwriters and producers are out there and nowadays it's easier to find them. I've been collaborating with a lot of women lately.
What would you like to see changed in the industry?
I would like to see more women in the industry. It is such a male dominated industry and it would be nice to, on a regular basis, not have to make the effort to find women but for them just to be a common place in the work place.
Make sure to check out the full video of Dana's interview with us and her exclusive Her Music Club performance of 'No Pressure' below