Daphne Willis

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Daphne Willis
Daphne 144.jpg
Background information
Born (1987-03-10) March 10, 1987 (age 30)
San Antonio, Texas
Origin Nashville, Tennessee
Genres Alternative Pop
Occupation(s) Musician, Singer/Songwriter
Instruments Guitar
Years active 2005–present
Labels Independent, Vanguard Records
Website Daphne Willis Website

Daphne Willis is a singer and songwriter residing in Nashville, Tennessee.

Early life[edit]

Willis was born in San Antonio, Texas on March 10, 1987. Willis grew up in a musical family. Her mother studied classical vocal performance at the University of Texas where her father was an audio engineering major and worked at CBR Records/Sony Music for more than 30 years.[1] The Willis family moved to Chicago, Illinois in 1989 where Willis attended grade school and then studied English and Secondary Education at DePaul University.[2]


Willis began singing at a young age but did not start playing guitar until her high school years.[3] As a student at DePaul, Willis began performing at open mics, which progressed to ongoing local Chicago performances and, eventually, the decision to leave school and go on the road. A touring band was formed and Willis toured extensively performing over 200 shows a year across the Midwest. In September 2007, Willis' first EP Matter of Time was released independently.[4]

Vanguard Records head Kevin Welk heard one of Willis' songs on an American Airlines flight and sent A&R rep Gary Paczosa to Chicago to meet her.[5] After signing a deal with Vanguard Records in 2008, Willis released her second EP, Exhibit A. In the latter half of 2009, Willis headed for the Tennessee hills to begin writing and recording her first full length album. What to Say was released in 2010. The album was co-produced by Tim Lauer and Grammy Award winning Gary Paczosa.[6] "My Shoes", a track from this record was featured on ABC's Switched at Birth.[7]

Album number two, Because I Can, was produced by Tim Lauer and released in 2011 on Vanguard Records.[8] Shortly after the release, Willis was interviewed on NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday with Host Scott Simon.[1] Because I Can reached the #2 spot on iTunes Top 40 Singer/Songwriter Chart. The track titled "Sad" was featured on the CW Network One Tree Hill.[9] Trevor Hall makes a guest appearance on the track titled "Circumstances".

Willis parted ways with Vanguard in early 2012 and produced an independent CD, Live to Try, in 2014, which was largely co-written with John Oates, who also plays guitar and sings on the album.

In 2015, Willis signed a publishing deal with Sony ATV. In the fall of 2015, she released an EP, Get It, featuring the hit single Done With Being Done, co-written with Meghan Trainor.


  • Matter of Time, 2007
  • Exhibit A, 2008
  • What to Say, 2010
  • Because I Can, 2011
  • Spread Music, 2013
  • Live to Try, 2014
  • Get It, 2015
  • "Somebody's Someone", 2017


  1. ^ a b Staff, NPR. "Daphne Willis: All In The Family". 2012 NPR. Retrieved 20 September 2012. 
  2. ^ Francis, Naila. "Daphne WIllis' Career Soars on High-Flying Dreams". phillyburbs.com. Archived from the original on 17 October 2011. Retrieved 20 September 2012. 
  3. ^ Jones, Mia. "An Interview with Daphne Willis". afterellen.com. Archived from the original on 28 December 2010. Retrieved 20 September 2012. 
  4. ^ "daphnewillis.com". Daphne Willis. Archived from the original on 5 March 2011. Retrieved 20 September 2012. 
  5. ^ Nardone, Mark. "Our Favorite Signings of 2010". Music Connection Magazine. Retrieved 20 September 2012. [permanent dead link]
  6. ^ Hight, Jewly (March 25, 2011). "Megan McCormick w/Daphne Willis". Nashville Scene. Retrieved 20 September 2012. 
  7. ^ Tune Find. "TV Shows". Tune Find LLC. Retrieved 20 September 2012. 
  8. ^ Bowen, Rick J. "Daphne Willis: Because I Can". Innocentwords.com. Retrieved 20 September 2012. [permanent dead link]
  9. ^ oth-music. "One Tree Hill Music". OTH-Music.com. Retrieved 20 September 2012. 

External links[edit]