LA-based singer-songwriter Dia Frampton will be in town tonight for a show at The Studio at Webster Hall, and I was lucky enough to grab a few minutes with her for a phone catch-up a few weeks ago; we talked Bruises, cowriting with Dan Heath, karaoke and MORE, so internet-eavesdrop on the full conversation below before the gig!
So what are you doing to get geared up for these gigs? What’s the setup looking like these days?
It’s acoustic, and we have some string players coming along which I’m really excited about. We’ve been rehearsing in my living room! My neighbors haven’t gotten upset with me yet, so that’s nice; there are four of us who’ve been rehearsing here at home.
That’s great! And is there any song in particular off Bruises you’re looking forward to playing live?
I really have fun playing “Out of the Dark” live! And I really enjoy playing “Die Wild” as well.
You also just released the video for “Crave”, which is so good! When did you shoot that one?
Thank you! We shot “Crave” a few months ago with Andrew Ahn, who’s one of my favorite directors.
I really like the story! You guys also do karaoke in the video; what’s your go-to karaoke jam IRL?
Hmm…I always like to do something kind of over-the-top, so probably something like “All By Myself” by Celine Dion. [Laughs]
Amazing. Do your karaoke buddies get bummed out because you’re so good at singing?
I actually don’t really like singing karaoke! It’s so weird. I mean, I do like to go to karaoke, I think that part is really fun, but I’m more of the friend who helps pick songs for other people while drinking a cocktail (or two, or three) and dancing. I’m totally there to be a backup dancer, but as far as singing goes, I usually take a backseat unless a friend wants to do a duet or something.
Totally understandable. Now, tell me about the making of Bruises! What was your timeline, roughly?
We started in October, so I’d say three or four months. The songwriting part took a lot longer, though, because I was collecting songs that I thought would work well for the album.
Do you remember which one off the final track list was the first one you wrote?
It was “Lights”!
What can you tell me about your process on that one?
We wrote “Lights” together (Dan Heath and myself) after going to get a cup of coffee down the street. We came back and started messing around, and it was kind of like our “courtship”, in a way; it was the first song we wrote together, and he wasn’t fully signed on at that point, so we were in the process of finding out if we got along and vibed well together. That song came out of that day together, and it was just really special. Dan always takes me places musically that I wouldn’t think of. It’s not that I wouldn’t go there, it’s just that my mind thinks in a different way; he’ll go to darker places, and that’s really fun, to kind of be hand-held down a different path.
Do you have any tips or tricks for being comfortable in a cowriting situation? Or is it totally dependent upon the person and the chemistry you have together?
Cowriting is very much like blind dating, and sometimes it reminds me of speed dating; that’s kind of what cowriting is for me. It’s very much on a day-to-day basis, and you meet up with a different person each day. I’ve done that for five or six years now, and I’ll still meet up with different people, but I’m lucky to have met a lot of favorite people that I like going on “dates” with. I kind of have my cowriting family.
How’d you get linked up with Dan?
I was in another band called Archis with Joseph Trapanese, and he was originally going to do my record, but he got a new movie and started scoring Quantico’s new season, so he got really busy and suggested Dan. So it was through a friend!
That’s great! And obviously the record is fairly new to shelves, but have you been working on anything new?
Yes, I’ve been working on some new music recently, and it’s been really fun; it’s been a little more upbeat, because Bruises was written during a very difficult time for me. I’m not sure where the new material will go yet, but it’s been really fun!