An Interview With Daphne Willis

By: Sarah DeNunzio//

unnamed-1We recently had the opportunity to interview the very talented singer-songwriter, Daphne Willis. We asked her all about her brand new single “Somebody’s Someone,” what it was like working with Meghan Trainor, why she got into music, and much more! Check out the interview below and be sure to keep up with Daphne Willis here at her website, and stream her music on Spotify!

You recently dropped your new single “Somebody’s Someone.” Tell us a little bit about the song and what it means to you.

I have felt the isolation that comes with depression and it’s the hardest thing to reach out to those around you. I wrote the song as a reminder to myself and others that we all matter, that we are all important to someone.

You seem to be a big advocate for destigmatizing mental health issues, as noted on a song you released last year called “The Struggle is Real.” What has inspired you to be a strong advocate for mental health awareness and erasing the stigmas that surround it?

I see mental health as a spectrum. I have been all over that spectrum throughout the course of my life. The more I talk to others about my experiences, the more I realize how much fear and shame there is associated with these issues in our society. Imagine how much easier it would be for people struggling with these issues to overcome them, if they felt more empowered to talk about them in the first place. The stigma perpetuates the issue and it’s a vicious cycle. I feel strongly that if we all started opening up and batting down the stigma, a lot of our social issues and barriers would also be batted down. Health starts in your mind!

On your 2015 EP, Get It, you got the chance to write with Meghan Trainor for the song “Done with Bein’ Done.” Tell us a little bit about what it was like working with her.

Meghan is insanely talented and a blast to be around. We were both on the same page for the song so we had a lot of fun writing it.

You released your first EP Matter of Time independently, without a record label, ten years ago. For a while, you were signed with Vanguard Records, and are now releasing music independently again. Can you describe the process of producing/writing an album/EP without a label versus with one?

I think both processes have their pros and cons. I love the Vanguard family and miss working with them; I also enjoy the freedom and flexibility of being indie. I have been really happy with both experiences.

unnamed-6.jpgLast year, you released an EP called Come Together, synonymous with the name of The Beatles’ song, containing covers of five of their songs. What inspired you to do this and would you say that The Beatles are a big influence on you and your own music?

The Beatles have always been one of my favs! I just love the often abstract nature of the lyrics. They changed Pop music forever and have learned a great deal about writing just by listening to them.

You started singing when you were young. Did you always know you wanted to be a singer? What inspired you to start playing guitar in your high school years? 

I have always loved to sing. My Mom and Dad raised me on music, so I think I’ve always seen singing as something that would be a part of my life regardless of my profession. I started playing guitar in High School while laid up with sports injuries and just kept learning until I was skilled enough to write my own songs.

What has been the most surreal moment of your career thus far? 

When I realized the “Somebody’s Someone” video was going viral and that people were really responding and helping to share the message in the song.

You grew up in Chicago but relocated to Nashville to kickstart your music career.  What are your favorite things about both cities?

Nashville is super chill, but has this creative buzz about it for me. Because it represents a lot of my creative development, I’ll always feel that. Chicago is also an incredible city. I definitely miss the major city vibe and I really miss the trains. I think the movement and mobility public transportation inspires does a lot for me. I guess it’s a good thing I like to travel!

Do you have any upcoming shows or music dropping this year that fans can keep an eye out for?

I have tons! We will be announcing a lot of tour dates over the next couple of weeks. I can’t wait for them all!

Want to learn more about Daphne Willis? Check out this exclusive video where she discusses how she got started!

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