Home > Premieres > Premiere: Daphne Willis rocks ‘n rolls with varied influences

Premiere: Daphne Willis rocks ‘n rolls with varied influences

Everyone’s got someone, somewhere, even down a dark, dank pit of loneliness. Daphne Willis, who has clawed her way from the bottom, not without a few scrapes and bruises of her own, of course, has risen victoriously and slain her demons. A year and some change ago, she set down the bottle for good–to lead a cleaner and healthier lifestyle. She opens up rather candidly about her turmoil with her stunning new ballad “Somebody’s Someone,” filled with cracked percussion and an instinctive vocal. “I will be there with you until the end,” she brings into focus, flipping the song from third- to first-person perspective on the bridge, “because you’re my only brother, you’re my mother’s son, and I’m still your little sister…somebody’s someone.”

The song, which samples her forthcoming new record (out later this year), mixes the sensitive singer-songwriter pop of Sara Bareilles with an instant windswept rock core, akin to Melissa Etheridge and Sheryl Crow. Willis’ voice hooks you, luring you in like a siren planted magnificently along the sea shore with her delicate but vigorous hand outstretched. It’s beyond your control, and you step closer to her. She then rides effortlessly across the melody–and it’s as if she has invited you into her heart for an acoustic writers’ round of intent and pain.

But who is the strong, resilient and passionate woman behind the music? In a brand new personality clip, premiering today, she opens up about her eclectic and wide-ranging influences, which include jazz, classical and R&B torch singing. You may be surprised at what else fuels her creative drive. “It’s important, especially in what I’m trying to do as an artist, which is embody a message of positivity and self-awareness and mental health. All of that goes together with the idea of being vulnerable and being healthy,” she tells B-Sides & Badlands. “The more I share my own personal experiences and parts of myself, the more people connect to it and will share their stories. These videos are great. It furthers my artistry.”

As part of her normal routine, Willis works out at least five or six times a week, eats paleo and abstains from alcohol–all part of her newfound sense of freedom. On advice she has for anyone wanting to gain a new perspective and change their lifestyle, she says, “Everybody’s different and has different creative outlets. Some people are visual or audio. I would definitely encourage exercise. Going to therapy or counseling, even if it’s just a once-a-month check in or every six months, I don’t think that’s ever a bad thing. It’s extremely useful, if nothing else to know yourself better. People can sometimes be afraid of themselves. Once you know more about yourself, it’s not as scary.”

“Somebody’s Someone” is out now on iTunes.

Watch below:

Follow Willis on her socials: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Website

Jason Scott

Editor-in-Chief of the Badlands, spinning those B-Sides. Love Parks & Rec. Addicted to high-priced coffee drinks, alt-country and synth-pop, and never know when to quit. Got a cat named Jake--and she doesn't like you very much.