Dana Williams Press Photo

Dana Williams On ‘Talk Therapy,’ Creative Process, and More

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Dana Williams Press Photo

Unfurling her unique blend of soulful, folk-inspired R&B, Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Dana Williams has emerged with a hypnotic new EP titled Talk Therapy.

Enveloped in her characteristic jazzy nonchalance, the 5-track offering presents an intimate exploration of self-discovery, emotional evolution, and a relentless pursuit of independence. Williams, known for her timelessly resonant vocals and sublime guitar work, crafts a symphony that deftly marries the rawness of self-introspection with the understated power of her voice, leaving audiences in a state of transcendence.

Born into a household pulsating with legendary rhythms — her father, David Williams, was the genius behind the guitar on Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” and Madonna’s “Like A Prayer” — Dana’s entrancing sound feels both ageless and innovative. Much like the mesmerizing allure of Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday’s performances, her delivery captivates listeners, drawing profound emotions from the slightest vocal movement. Yet, her music reverberates with a fresh appeal, bridging the gap between the classic and the contemporary.

In the creation of Talk Therapy, Dana has collaborated with a range of producers and co-writers, including the acclaimed likes of Likeminds, Henry Was, and Bijou. The project echoes the urgency of our current societal climate — overwhelmed and anxiety-ridden — underscoring the essential need for meaningful dialogue, a resounding testament to Williams’ artistic sensitivity.

Echoing the success of her breakout 2017 release Honey, this new EP marks another significant stride in Dana’s continuous journey of artistic revelation. Not only does it stand as a testament to her unyielding talent but also reinforces her standing as an artist to keep a keen eye on in the current music landscape.

Ahead, we got to chat with Dana Williams about her latest project, music industry lessons, and creative process. Continue scrolling for our conversation.

Hey Dana, congrats on the new project! How do you feel now it’s out? How’s the reception been?

Thanks so much. I’m happy to have set my songs free into the world. I hope they take on a life of their own. The reception has been good. I never know which songs people will gravitate toward until they are out. It’s really cool to see. 

So Talk Therapy is actually your first EP in a few years, following 2020’s Thanks For The Memories. Did it have any specific musical influences? Was there anyone or anything you were listening to a lot while making it?

I don’t think I had anything sonically specific in mind. I’m always listening to an amalgamation of things. I think thematically, it was at a turning point in my life, where I decided I was going to stop making the same mistakes over and over again, and decided to write about the boundaries I had recently learned to create for myself. To live a healthier, happier life. 

Talk to me about the title — what exactly is “talk therapy” and what does it mean to you?

To me, Talk Therapy is about talking through worries, patterns, experiences and processing them, whether it’s with a therapist, a friend, or even your own inner monologue. I think it’s important to talk feelings through in order to process, to learn and then ultimately to let go. 

That being said, do you have a favorite part of the creative process? Is it writing, recording, or even performing the records afterwards?

I love the whole process. Though I really enjoy writing and also performing. Recording, I don’t like to do too many takes, that way I can try to maintain the emotion in the room.

Two of my fav songs from the project are “Lose Control” and “Laundry.” Can you tell us about those?

Thank you. I wrote “Laundry” about the time I was in a relationship where it felt like my priorities weren’t being met. It was the turning point where I felt fed up with being ignored. Needless to say, we were not a match. “Lose Control” is about letting myself be vulnerable, especially after a heartbreak when your guard is up.

Letting down my emotional walls and opening up to new experiences. I tend to be introverted, especially when dealing with doubt. Realizing that I don’t have control over the outcome of everything, and just letting go and allowing myself to experience new possibilities. 

My first introduction to your music was in 2016 via WESTSIDE BOOGIE’s “Sunroof” and since then, you’ve put out so much music and gained a long list of collaborators. How do you feel you’ve musically evolved since starting? Anything you’ve learnt about making it in the music biz?

I still love that collaboration. I have definitely evolved. I’ve been able to be more honest in my lyrics. I tend to be a shy and private person, but my lyrics are really where I’m able to express myself. I’ve also opened to trying new things, collaborating with more people. I’m having more fun these days. I think what I’ve mainly learned is that the business is always changing, but it’s important to stay open to new opportunities and people.

Lastly, who do you want your music to reach and more specifically, who do you feel like you’re making music for at this time?

I’m making music for anyone who has experienced heartbreak/disappointment. Anyone who needs an outlet or community to commiserate with but also to empower. It’s important to not shy away from your feelings, and to talk through them. I hope I encourage self exploration and expression.