Five Questions: Daphne Willis

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Five Questions: Daphne Willis

With both Chicago and Texas in her bones — and music in her blood — Daphne Willis was destined to become a singer/songwriter. You can't fight both nature and nurture, after all. Willis actually tried, though, but the call was too strong. And, so, she starting playing open mics and writing songs. Soon enough, she was spending the bulk of her time on the road. Her 2007 EP, Matter of Time, was quite right. It was only a matter of time before she landed a deal with Vanguard Records the following year. Skip forward six years and several releases, and her independently issued Live to Try album is, again, quite right.

After quite a few years on a small label, how does it feel to be a truly independent artist?
It feels liberating and terrifying at the same time! Aaaahhhh! Really, though, I do love being independent. It turns you into a bigger part of everything you do. Does that make sense? It puts so much more responsibility in my hands which, in turn, puts so much more control in them, as well. This largely has to do with having the ability to create my own team of people. The people you choose to represent you in the business arena of the music industry play a giant roll in how you as an artist are perceived. "Your message as an artist"... How do you want to convey it? It takes a lot of time, weeding, and upkeep, but it's

well worth it when you find the right fit. I think I am off to a great start. I am really excited to be taking the reigns and feeling more ready than ever for this summer/fall of touring.

What's the plan? How does a young, indie artist break through?
You will never be heard, if you don't make a sound! I think that's the name of the game here... and I love to play. I love playing shows; I love learning the ins and outs of social media (still learning about that derrrn Twitter); and I love writing. Having something to say that is actually relevant and positive is always the plan. I think that's what drives me as a person. If you have a message, you just have to get it out there. But don't say things just to say them.