Starting out as a “salt of the earth” musician before being catapulted into the national spotlight thanks to a surprisingly deep run on the NBC reality competition show, “The Voice,” Dia Frampton is now an established veteran of the music industry. With a show at Jammin’ Java slated for this Friday, Frampton chatted with the News-Press about her past exploits and what the future holds for this rising star.
Despite her current popularity, Frampton wasn’t always the coveted performer she is now. At 17, she founded her first band with her sister, aptly named Meg & Dia, and set out touring the nation in a van. The life was expectedly glamourless for the young musical troupe: nights spent either sleeping in the van or, occasionally, in public parks to showering in a Starbucks, Frampton and the rest of the band were taking each day one at a time and figuring the rest out later. And as Frampton reflects on the early part of her career, she does so with renewed reverence.
“I remember touring rather fondly in a weird way, as kind of an adventure,” Frampton said. “I would not be able to that again, but back then it was my sister and our three best friends and we were traveling to cities we’d never been to before…I don’t think a lot of people just pack up and go on a tour they book themselves anymore. It’s a little bit old-fashioned now, but it was pretty fun.”
After five years of the living the grungy band life, Frampton got a chance call from her manager suggesting that she should audition for “The Voice’s” inaugural season. The two agreed that while Frampton wasn’t likely to make waves in the competition, it would be a good platform for her to promote the band’s self-released album, Cocoon, and hopefully attract more of a following for Meg & Dia.
How’s that saying go about best laid plans, again? Oh yeah, they never follow through. Much to Frampton’s surprise, she was received startlingly well by the public and the show’s celebrity judges, who nudged her all the way to the finale where she finished as the runner-up. Frampton missed out on the grand prize, but was invited to tour alongside her mentor and show judge, Blake Shelton. While learning how to cater performances toward arena crowds, Frampton was also elevating her profile to new heights.
The sudden fame didn’t sit well with the rest of Meg & Dia, who felt Frampton’s individual success put them on the backburner. It led to the dissolution of the band, but the hardships didn’t stop there. Becoming a nationally recognized artist subjected Frampton to criticism and comparisons she hadn’t previously received, leading her to become disillusioned with music for a period of time.
“It gave me anxiety to perform for a couple of years. I had to find the joy of music again for myself because I wasn’t used to being competitive and also being compared to other artists so much,” Frampton continued. “It started to make me feel inadequate, [and think] ‘Oh, this person is better,’ or ‘This person has a stronger voice, I wish I sounded like her,’ it got in my head and I lost the fun in performing.”
Frampton has rediscovered the joy in performing, but at nearly 30 years old and 13 years in the industry, she’s beginning to question how much longer she wants to continue her career in music. Of course, that’s something only Frampton can determine. So until then, let’s try to revel in the melodic tunes she has given the world.
For more information on Dia Frampton, visit diamusic.net.