As the runner-up on The Voice, Dia Frampton, who just dropped her solo album debut, loves songwriting and recording. Performing? Not so much.
ISSUE: Winter 2011-12
STORY: Y. Peter Kang
Singer Dia Frampton has a major case of stage fright.
The producers of NBC’s The Voice, a reality TV singing contest which Frampton narrowly lost last summer, definitely played up the Utah native’s shy personality, portraying her as a shrinking violet.
In many cases, reality TV is far from reality, but for Frampton it wasn’t that far from the truth.
“I probably went pee like every five minutes before I went on because I was so nervous,” says Frampton in a telephone interview. “I think it’s just recently come to the point where I don’t enjoy performing very much. It feels wrong to say that — I love songwriting, I love recording, but when it comes to performing I get so nervous it’s not fun for me sometimes.”
But the 24-year-old, whose father is Dutch and mother is Korean, says she is working on it. She’s started to take acting classes to help conquer her stage fright. “It’s getting me to take myself out of myself and it’s been really helpful,” she says.
She doesn’t have much time to conquer her fears since she’s set to go on a 26-date tour in January opening for country star Blake Shelton, who served as her mentor on The Voice. Frampton, once part of indie rock sister act Meg & Dia, will play songs off her solo debut album Red, released by Universal Republic in early December.
The doe-eyed singer collaborated with a number of notable names in the music industry for the album, including Mark Foster and Isom Innis of indie pop band Foster the People, and Isabella Summers of Florence and the Machine. On top of that, the first track off the album, “Don’t Kick the Chair,” features rapper Kid Cudi.
Frampton describes the music as pop, but with her signature. “It was kind of weird at first because I think pop is associated with bad things in a way,” she says. “When I think of pop I think of auto tune and people dancing around in their underwear, but I’m excited and proud. It’s pop done well and we tried really hard to keep what’s special to me.”
— Y. Peter Kang