When not writing poems, Dana spins chill, soulful music influenced by Ella Fitzgerald, Carole King and Billie Holiday. We visited her LA home to talk summer jams and her secret to telling stories through songs.
Look No. 1
Corset-Detail Crop Sweater Tank + THE HARLOW PANT IN 100% LINEN
Look No. 2
THE LARSEN BLAZER + The Brightside Tee + THE PERFECT VINTAGE JEAN SHORT
Look No. 3
THE CROSSOVER BLAZER IN 100% LINEN + THE NEALE SHORT IN 100% LINEN
Feat. Dana Williams
Describe your musical style in three words.
Soulful, warm, chill.
What’s your ideal performance outfit?
For me, performing is an opportunity to step into my alter ego. So, getting dressed to perform, in a way, is like putting on my second skin. When I go on stage, I get to be Dana Williams, not just Dana, and Dana Williams typically wears dresses, tall boots or heels.
Tell us about your creative process when it comes to songwriting. How do you begin writing a song?
I write from personal experience, so I keep notes on my phone of little thoughts, or poems or feelings. I use those as a starting point to create a concept to build the song around. Then I like to start with a chord progression and the lyric and melody come along once I’ve found a nice progression.
What advice would you give someone wanting to write their first song?
I would say the best advice to give someone who is wanting to write their first song would be to listen to your favorite songs, learn them, figure out why you like them and what you like about them. Also, take less advice. Do your own thing. Find your own story to tell.
What is something we wouldn’t guess about you from listening to your music?
I really love to whistle. I have yet to incorporate it into my music. But I don't know how to make it as cool as Lou Reed.
What is your ultimate summer song and why?
The ultimate summer songs for me are Sheryl Crow’s “Soak Up the Sun” and “All I Wanna Do”. They make me want to get outside and enjoy the summer weather. I love listening to these songs and singing along with friends.
Which of your own songs says “summer” to you? Why?
My song “Uncomplicated” says ‘summer’ to me. It has always felt so light and airy. The percussion is warm and the guitar drifts gently in with a sense of simplicity. Not to mention, the title of the song is literally, “Uncomplicated”.
What non-music thing are you most looking forward to doing this summer?
I’m looking forward to swimming in the ocean. To me, there’s nothing more grounding than being totally enveloped by the sea.
turn it up
Soundtrack the season with Dana’s playlist of perfect summer tunes.
SHOP DANA’s PICKS