Listening to Daphne Willis puts a smile on my face. The 22-year-old Chicago singer, earthy and easy to hang with, streams a wordy, contemporary sound out of serious pipes in a dramatic range which she effortlessly, masterfully displays … with funky verve. Willis has a lot to say. Her style seems to be influenced as much by her take on current generational trends and modern delivery of urban poetry (that’s right, I mean the rhythm and flow of rap music, folks) as by scatty jazz and the deep roots of her bluesy home-base.
However you call it, Willis’ songs put a spring in the whole day. They express a feisty free spirit who knows diddly. And Willis’ vocal prowess shines nothing short of spectacular. I would listen, completely mesmerized, as she rattled off the ABCs or even a to-do list. Best of all, Daphne Willis is most warmly engaging live and in person.
Check out the videos, listen to the exclusive, live tracks below (each nailed in one take), get to a show and grab her new album, What To Say (2/9/2010, Vanguard). Oh, and see a bunch of photos from her session HERE.
Listen to the Exclusive Live Tracks (option/click to download):