Dana Williams: What Are You Listening To?

Dana Williams: What Are You Listening To?

Rising singer-songwriter Dana Williams has been a presence in the studio and working with artists like Freddie Gibbs, Boogie, and Rejjie Snow for years. Her recent work has celebrated her solo skills and Dana has shared with TIDAL a playlist of her current favorites in this eclectic playlist.


Daniel Caesar, “Neu Roses” (Transgressor’s Song)
“Freudian” is currently one of my favorite albums. I love the sweet, soulful and melancholy nature of Daniel Caesar’s music.  In this song, I love the juxtaposition of the acapella in the first half of the song, the lyrics are a bit broad/abstract, but suddenly the harmonies swell and come to a climax, and a beat drops and Daniel Caesar delivers a direct confessional message.

Janelle Monae, “Pynk” (feat. Grimes) 
I love the nostalgic electro pop beat, the sweet melody and harmonies stacked above one another. Each verse is a list of similes expressing the things that the color pink represent. Everything about the song suggests simplicity, but it conveys a strong message of female empowerment entangled in a sweet love song.

Lianne La Havas, ”Say a Little Prayer” 
I listen to Lianne La Havas acoustic version of “Say a Little Prayer” originally performed by Dionne Warwick, all the time. I really appreciate the way she interpreted the song so comfortably.  I love the depth of her voice and emotional intensity.

Cardi B, “Thru Your Phone”
What initially drew me to this song was the mellow melodic beat. To me this song is Cardi’s response to betrayal. Her raps are always so honest. I love and appreciate her honestly. I love that she holds nothing back and never asks for forgiveness.

Shakey Graves, “Pansy Waltz”
I have been a fan of Shakey Graves for a while now. I like that you can tell that he has a sense of humor through the lyrics that we writes. He is able to have a sense of humor about what seem to be dark moments. A waltz usually makes for a playful song but in this song, it seems to be a farewell, he says: “Tell me about the astronauts you’ve come to love, and how the earth looks from above, and how I should’ve been a better friend to you”. Aside from his charisma, I appreciate his song writing and musicianship. His music is something I always come back to.

SZA, “Drew Barrymore”
Sza’s whole album “Ctrl” makes me so happy. i love how vulnerable she lets herself be. I think a lot of women can relate to the things she is saying.

St. Vincent, “Cheerleader”
This has been one of my favorite songs for a long time. I like how it starts off so gentle, with a simple melody and guitar and then it builds to a big chorus. The drums make me really happy. It’s so delicate but powerful at the same time. I admire the simplicity of her melodies. I tend to over complicate things and her melodies are so strong and clear.

Steve Lacy, “Dark Red”
This song starts with a cool reverb-y drum beat. I definitely relate to this song because my music is very guitar driven. I feel like he wrote this song on the guitar. I also love the sense of impending doom. Who hasn’t experienced that feeling? “Something bad’s bout to happen to me. I don’t know what, but I feel it coming” also, I tend to second guess myself a lot, “What if she’s fine, it’s my mind that’s wrong?” I relate to this song on a lot of levels

Broadcast, “Tears in the Typing Pool”
My favorite thing about this song is how simple it is. The reverb on her voice and on the guitar is perfect. The focal point is the melody and the gentle harmonies in the chorus and the occasional organ.

Charlotte Day Wilson, “Work”
I also love how simple this song is. The beat has a lot of character and the harmonies are so dreamy. I think what also makes it so dreamy is how repetitive it is. It is so soothing.


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