Being Yourself on YouTube

Dana Williams filming a video
Dana has musical appearances in Apple’s 2014 Christmas advert and the Oscar winning movie ‘Whiplash’ and her online video views are in the millions.

She tells us how she is stepping out of the shadows of her session guitarist father and seducing YouTube with her Jazz inspired dulcet tones.

What drew you into the world of YouTube?
What draws me to YouTube is that it is an extremely accessible form of social media. Almost everyone has access to it!

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Be yourself and show people who you are because that’s usually what they can relate to

What advice do you have for others who wish to promote their talents online?
I think it’s great that YouTube gives everyone access to be themselves in front of innumerable amounts of people. So, be yourself and show people who you are because that’s usually what they can relate to. Also, it is important to remain consistent – come up with some kind of schedule and stick to it!

Can singers make great videos without the price tag?
If you don’t have camera equipment or recording equipment it is important to pick a quiet space with good lighting to showcase yourself and your sound clearly.

What big lesson have you learnt from social media?
The most important lesson I have learned about social media, is to be consistent. Subscribers will tune in every week to see what you’ve been up to!

Do you also perform live?
Yes, I do live performances around Los Angeles. Performing live is my favorite thing to do!

How do you avoid a performance ‘Fail’?
The different between a cover performance fail and a cover performance success is finding a song, not one that I can sing ‘well’ but one that I really love and am able to make my own. I think it shows through your performance which songs you most connect with.

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I think it shows through your performance which songs you most connect with

Tell us about your music gear
Lately I’ve been using an Orange amp to amplify my guitar, a Shure SM57 for my vocals and a TC-Helicon Voice Live Play Acoustic pedal which I am extremely happy about.

Which singers inspire you?
I have been listening to Ella Fitzgerald since I was very young. I think her sound has influenced me a lot. It wasn’t until I was a bit older that I discovered Billie Holiday. I look up to these women as great vocalists and performers.

Does it help to have a supportive family?
I come from a musical family, so growing up I was always around music. My father was a musician and that is really what inspired me to pursue a career in music. It’s been very encouraging to come from such a supportive family. Since my father passed away, my mom and my sister are my biggest cheerleaders. My sister encouraged me to share my videos on YouTube since she likes to hear me sing.


Dana Williams

Dana Williams is the daughter of the late David Williams, 30 year guitarist for Michael Jackson. Dana had the only original song in the Oscar winning film, “Whiplash” in which she wrote and performed on. She wrote and co-produced with T-Bone Burnett on Apple’s mini film for the 2015 holiday season in which she performs as well. Dana collaborates with Leighton Meester, her childhood friend and they garner more than 4 million views.

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