Brittany's 'The Voice' Blog: Catching Up With...Dia Frampton!
November 22nd, 2011 11:40am EST
Here's the latest on and around NBC's The Voice: Dia Frampton drops by, reviews of Javier Colon and Beverly McClellan's new albums, and the AMAs!
I start this week catching up with season 1 runner-up and Team Blake finalist Dia Frampton, whose new album Red will hit stores two weeks from today, on December 6. Dia was kind enough to chat with me about The Voice and how her life has been post-show.
How much did things change for her after The Voice? "A lot," she confided, adding that she started "right after [the finale], literally the next day, to write songs and record, because I was hoping to make an album, which I did." That change didn't extend to everyday life, though, as she said people don't necessarily recognize her more. "Sometimes a little bit, but as far as that goes, it's pretty much the same."
One senses she wouldn't want it any other way. This is the woman who told me on the Voice red carpet that if she'd known how big the show was going to be, she might never have auditioned. It wasn't her forte. She was just an earnest, down-to-earth girl wanting to make her music, and now she was thrust into the national spotlight.
"It was a whole different experience to be on television," she said. "It was the most high-pressure, high-stress environment to perform in. I was afraid I'd forget the words, I'd miss a note, or I'd trip and fall. I'd never played under those circumstances. It was also a very positive one. I think it really helped me in a lot of different ways. I learned how to perform in front of cameras and [her coach] Blake [Shelton] was there every step of the way. I just had to up my game."
There's no question that she did just that; we were priveleged to see Dia grow as an artist before our eyes, from someone who only had two chairs turn for her in blind auditions to someone who came very close to winning the whole thing. Her version of Kanye West's "Heartless" was called the best performance in the history of The Voice on the night she debuted it, and deservedly so.
Dia wasn't concerned with winning or losing, though. On the night of the finale, rather than bemoan her close defeat, she spoke to me about how glad she was for Javier, because she knew his victory meant he could pursue his dream without having to worry about financially supporting his family. Looking back on the show five months later, she still thinks beyond the competition.
"As far as the show goes, the duet I did with Miranda Lambert at the end was really special," she said. "I think about the time off-camera, hanging out with all the artists. Just getting lunch with them - little things like that were really fun. I made some really good friends and I learned from them. Being around people that were better than me made me better."
She took what she'd learned and poured it into the making of Red, which was a different experience than the albums she released with her sister as one-half of the band Meg & Dia.
"We were wanting an early December release. They wanted the record to come out before season 2 [of The Voice] started," she explained. "I'm used to having months and months, or sometimes years, to take my time. I'm always quality over quantity. This time, I was just writing as much as possible. I ended up with about 40-50 songs. I wrote with a lot of different people and worked with a lot of different producers."
That didn't mean she left her sister behind: "I worked with my sister. We wrote like eight songs for the album, and decided seven of them sucked, but one of them made it through," she added, laughing. That song is called 'Hearts Out To Dry,' which is one of her two favorites on Red. The other is 'Trapeze,' which she says "lyrically, is really special to me."
The album is just the beginning for her. In addition to releasing Red, Dia is joining Blake Shelton on his Well Lit and Amplified Tour from the end of this year into early 2012. Her Voice coach has stayed in her corner even after the end of the show. "Blake actually asked me if I wanted to do the tour," she revealed. "I'm excited to be able to watch him every night. He's such a great performer and his band, they're all incredible musicians. It'll be great to watch them and learn from them."
It's another testament to how humble a person Dia is. She hasn't let her sudden breakthrough go to her head. Asked what her career goals are, she talked about what she can still learn from other musicians.
"I'm excited to start touring again. I'd just like to tour with as many great bands as possible," she enthused. "I'd like to go worldwide. That's a really big, big dream. I know that The Voice aired in a lot of different countries; I've got people on my Facebook page from [countries like] Singapore [and] Australia, and it just made me want to be able to tour in all these different places."
It's a goal that's within reach for this talented and classy artist; what's sure to be a long and successful career is off to a solid start.
To find out where and when Dia and Blake will be touring, visit Blake's tour schedule. For more from Dia herself, be sure to follow her on Twitter and Facebook. You can also pre-order Red using this link.
Read on for reviews of Javier Colon and Beverly McClellan's new albums...
In other season 1 news, three Voice artists dropped new albums this week: Javier Colon, Beverly McClellan, and Casey Weston. Stay tuned for a review of Casey's CD next week, but here are reviews for Javier and Beverly's new releases!
Javier Colon, Come Through For You
The newest album from season 1's winner is - well, a winner. Come Through For You is full of the soul that made the nation fall for Javier from his blind audition. It's as if he never left; any of the songs on Come Through For You would have fit right in with his sound on The Voice.
Here is music at its purest. Javier's stunning vocals and his great heart shine on this record, and there aren't any showy arrangements or plays for attention. This is just a great musician being allowed to be a great musician. Songs like "Runnin" and "Raise Your Hand" are the kind that you'll find yourself singing along to before you know it.
Javier also has a pair of duets on this album, with varying degrees of success. The first single was "As Long As We Got Love," featuring Natasha Bedingfield, who also recently appeared on the new Simple Plan record - it's a fun, catchy pop tune that is enjoyable, but it would have worked just as well as a solo recording.
More successful is "Stand Up," which features the vocals of Javier's coach, Adam Levine. If you watched the finale of The Voice, you know that their voices blend remarkably well together. Adam takes the same approach here that he did with their version of "Man In The Mirror" - he dials his vocals back a bit and allows Javier to take the spotlight. He complements Javier, instead of trying to contend with him. The result is a smooth collaboration that works out well for both artists.
Listening to Come Through For You, it's easy to be reminded of why America voted Javier the winner of season 1. Not only does he have remarkable talent, but his music is full of love, optimism and positive energy that we just don't hear enough of these days. Make room for this one in your collection.
You can pick up your copy using this link. Javier is also embarking on an East Coast-only tour in support of the album; for tour dates, visit this website.
Beverly McClellan, Fear Nothing
While Javier's album isn't that far removed from what we heard on The Voice, Beverly McClellan's new release might surprise some people, but it should be a pleasant surprise.
Team Christina's finalist isn't rocking out on Fear Nothing. But remember her heartfelt performance of "The Thrill Is Gone"? If you liked that, then this is your album. Not to say that the rocker Beverly doesn't exist, but Fear Nothing puts her aside for a little while, in order to allow Beverly's love of the blues to take center stage.
In that sense, it is exactly true to who Beverly is and what she stands for. She won us over on The Voice because she was unapologetically herself and made it okay for us all to do the same. She's not releasing the record we might expect - she's releasing the one that she wants to. And it is just as listenable as any of the rock songs that she did on The Voice, even if blues isn't your genre.
Every one of these songs has a line or a phrase where you can just hear Beverly come through. Take, for example, "Lyin' To," in which she sings, "If I can't find comfort in my shoes, well, who am I lyin' to?" Much like she owned her identity on the show, the CD is one hundred percent Beverly McClellan. I couldn't imagine another artist performing any of the songs.
Even if you don't listen to the blues, if you liked Beverly on The Voice, you should give this a listen. Her strong vocals are still very much present, and she'll introduce you to a whole new genre of music as she takes you along for the ride.
You can pick up your copy using this link. Also, if you're in the San Diego area, Beverly will be performing at Anthology this Friday, November 25. For more information on that event, visit this website.
If you missed it in last week's blog, Rebecca Loebe is also working on a new album, and seeking to fund it without the interest of a record label or business partner. Instead, she's reaching out directly to her fans, and has a great plan for how you can partner with her. You can find more information on Rebecca's efforts at her website.
Read on for how The Voice was represented at Sunday's American Music Awards...
The Voice was represented very well by three of the show's four coaches at the American Music Awards, which took place Sunday in Los Angeles.
Congratulations to Maroon 5 and coach Adam Levine for winning their first AMA as "Favorite Pop/Rock Band, Duo or Group."
The award came just days before the band begins their European tour - they start things off in Moscow on November 27 and will be on the road internationally through December 13. For more, visit their website.
Blake Shelton also won the AMA for "Favorite Country Male Artist," but that award was not televised during the broadcast.
It was a busy night for Adam. After Maroon 5 performed their hit "Moves Like Jagger" with coach Christina Aguilera, he had enough time to take a quick bow before walking feet across the Nokia Theatre stage to join Gym Class Heroes for "Stereo Hearts."
And he was lending his vocals to both songs with a cold! He had revealed earlier on Twitter that he was feeling under the weather, but that didn't stop him from delivering Sunday night.
Nor did it dampen his trademark wit.
After thanking the band's "incredible fans for making this happen" upon accepting the award, Adam cracked wise about the trophy backstage, saying "We’ve never won an American Music Award, and it’s wonderful to be acknowledged for our music. It’s very sharp, though, so we’ll have to be careful around the house."
So very Adam Levine - and that's part of why we love him. (Get well soon, Adam!)
The Voice returns to NBC on February 5, 2012 following the Super Bowl. Until then, for more on the show, you can visit my Voice archive at Big Red Chairs.
(c)2011 Brittany Frederick/Digital Airwaves. All rights reserved. Appears at Starpulse with permission. No reproduction permitted.
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