DIA FRAMPTON – RED (red vinyl)
Buy this record!
Dia Frampton was slowly making a splash on the indie scene as part of the sister duo Meg & Dia, but in 2011, she broke out on her own on Season 1 of The Voice. Now, maybe you’re not a fan of reality TV or music competition shows, but I don’t fucking care! Cause this is my blog! But really, regardless of what you think of these kinds of shows, you can’t help but fall in love with Dia Frampton when you watch her cover of Kanye West’s “Hearltess” on The Voice.
I was totally glamoured by the new music competition show. What most of my close friends don’t know is that I actually auditioned for Season 2. That’s crazy! What many of my friends do know is that I will do weird things just to know what it feels like. Skydiving? Check! Cliff jumping? Check! Riding in a convertible with a millionaire? Check! So, I wondered what the process for auditioning for a music competition was like.
Let me tell you… it sucks. I think it was June or July. In New York. Not even New York… it was in New Jersey! I took a NJ Transit bus at 6am from Penn Station to who-knows-where near some stadium. I had to walk on the gravel shoulder of some highway for 30 minutes just to get to the stadium. And at 7:30am, I was at the end of a very long line. People slept outside—in June/July stink-sweat weather—to get at the front of the line. I finally go into the building at 11am. Yes, that’s over three hours of sweating my baby-fat off while listening to cats sing. It was not pretty! And the big tease is that once you get inside, you’re still waiting in line! And then once you check in, you’re still waiting in line! And then once you stop waiting in line, you’re waiting in seats in the stadium! And then the producer judges that pick who move forward in the competition wanted to eat lunch. Lunch! So I waited in that seat until 2pm.
Why didn’t I just leave? I was so close! I wanted to know what it felt like. How it worked. I kept acting like I wasn’t nervous because I didn’t care about the outcome. But nerves are contagious. Everyone else freaking out started freaking me out.
Finally, lunch was over and they took us into a private box suite. We all sat silently as each of us was called up, one at a time, to sing one verse and one chorus of any song. Everyone in my group was pretty awful. You could hear a lot of nerves. You have no idea how awkward you are going to be until you are facing a producer, looking them in the eye, and singing like you have a secret to tell them. It was very uncomfortable!
I sang “Through the Dark” by KT Tunstall. I wanted to sing something in my deeper register that wouldn’t trouble me too much, and wasn’t popular enough to have been heard all day long (like the two girls in my group who both sang “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele). That cocky thirty-something producer’s heartless eyes boring into my soul taught me something that day… I only want to sing for people who don’t give a shit what I sound like. Which is why I love drunk karaoke.
But I still love The Voice. I rooted for Dia the whole time. Her voice is unique and quirky. I love the song “Walk Away” from Red, her debut album after the show. And I’m thankful I did not make it onto Season 2 of The Voice because Juliet Simms did, and she is who you want to hear on a music competition show. Not me! Her version of “It’s A Man’s, Man’s, Man’s Word” is mind-blowing. My mom and Karen both agree.