DIA On the Hill Session at Kettle Pot Tracks
We met DIA through the super cool Sofar Sounds: Philadelphia group (https://www.facebook.com/SofarPhilly). She was playing one of their pop-up shows at a seemingly random (yet somehow completely inviting and enjoyable) spot in Center City: one of the individuals responsible for organizing the show wrote a few days before to suggest we give DIA a listen because she’d be in town…
Well, we did, and we were very impressed. Her music has moments of otherworldliness that are tempered with direct, heartfelt connections to emotions we’ve all felt: these two elements are perfectly blended in balance. DIA’s performances have a feeling of effortlessness, while her songs are both well-crafted and engaging.
DIA came to see us the morning after her Sofar performance. Her capable accompanist Tim Carr recorded a session immediately after hers, and both were just right. As an added bonus, Tim and DIA are both very kind, sweet, and unassuming humans—it was an absolute pleasure to spend a day with them!
Please, take a few minutes and enjoy DIA!
When/why/how/where did DIA get started? That is to say, can you give us a comfortably-abridged bio?
I was training as an opera singer for several years. I had just finished my MFA at Cal Arts and was at a competitive young artist program. I was performing a Mozart aria and got to a point where I was so nervous about making a mistake, I lost my breath and literally couldn’t sing. I realized that as much as I love classical music, I needed to find a way to create with a lot more freedom and no concept of right or wrong. I then spent a bit of time finding my way, singing jazz around LA, etc.
One Christmas, my brother, who is a remarkable guitarist, gave me a ukulele. I started playing lots of 60’s pop songs in my bedroom, in my car, with no one to hear and no expectation of “perfection.” Eventually, I found myself writing little melodies. It was like I was transported back to my 4 year old self and the songs just came. Everything has kind of unfolded from that place.
Why did you choose these songs for On the Hill?
These songs are probably the most representative of what my writing has been so far – cosmically heartbroken. Because I was playing duo with Tim Carr who was on drum and synth, these were nice choices for that pairing. Covered In Light is a song about the connections we have to people that are transcendent and otherworldly and can’t sustain because they get caught in our humanness.
What else is going on in your world? What’s next?
I’m writing a bunch more and planning to record a handful of new songs this fall with some really wonderful people here in Los Angeles. I’m also going to be doing a California tour in November and am coming back East for more shows in January. I worked on a crazy video in Sedona, AZ for Covered In Light that should be out soon.
Where can we see and hear more of you?
You can go to diathemusic.com to hear more tracks. Planning to post LA and West Coast dates soon. Some Monday nights in LA, I still sing at the Varnish with Jamie Elman and his trio. It’s one of the best spots in the city I think!