I was blessed to meet Ms. Diana Williams this last fall at the ICM Awards. Diana writes some amazing songs and sings just as amazing. I have been working with her on a project she is releasing with an artist I work closely with. Diana has a precious heart, a love for music, and passion to make others smile.
Diana has blessed me by allowing me to interview her. I hope you all enjoy getting to know this precious lady like I have.
Diana Williams is a freelance writer of songs, stories and articles. Her lyrics often contain an embedded, nostalgic message. Diana refers to her lyrics as a tidbit of a self-help book that provides a moral to the story… with a light touch!
Diana is a member of the Nashville Songwriters Association, and Global Songwriters Connection. She enjoys writing lyrics and melodies for other songwriters. Another favorite activity is occasionally singing with her local band, Crow Hill for charity.
With roots in Oklahoma and Texas, Diana currently resides in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.
INTERVIEW WITH DIANA WILLIAMS
How long have you been writing music? Since about 1978…I was going through a hard time and someone had given me an old Stella guitar. It was plywood with barbed-wire strings. I wasn’t aware at the time that you could change the strings. 🙂 As I was learning painful chords, something resonated with me and I wrote my first song which was called “I’m Not Your Love Anymore”. It felt so good to write down feelings and not just leave them in a journal somewhere, but to create a song I could sing and remember and rejoice that I had survived something difficult. I continued to write sad songs for awhile and was finally brave enough to sing them to other people. I was amazed they cried as if the same thing had happened to them. I realized my song was also someone else’s song – whether it was sympathetic or empathetic, it didn’t matter. It connected and that was what mattered. I still love sad songs – they make you feel better. Your soul loves to put it all out there – good, bad, or ugly – it will express it any way it can as a way of handing it to God for his answers and blessings.
Who do you feel has influenced you the most in your music career? It all started with my grandparents. They literally thought I could do anything. If I had listened to them, I would have started my music career a long time ago, but I didn’t have the faith in myself that they did. I lived with them for the first five years of my life and we watched Gospel Jubilee and the Grand Ole Opry and that was the major building block for me. I would pull a little footstool into the middle of the floor, stand on it and sing at the top of my lungs with Vestal Goodman or the Florida Boys or Tanya Tucker. And my grandparents would nod approvingly and tell me I was going to be on the Opry someday. I sang ‘specials’ in the church when I got older and some weddings here and there. When I met my husband, his family played bluegrass and their harmonies and instruments stunned me. The only families I had seen play music together were on the television and this family could have been there if they had wanted to go that direction. My mother-in-law would sing the old songs, making them brand new again – plain spoken songs that weren’t afraid to say Jesus or talk about Heaven or the pain of this world. Bluegrass and gospel were made for each other and their powerful messages always hit the mark with me.
Vocally, I loved women who could belt out a song like Vestal Goodman, Linda Ronstadt, Trisha Yearwood, Reba McEntire, Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton and Whitney Houston. I adore gospel quartets like the Booth Brothers and the Cathedrals – I would love to hear them sing “Willin'” – in case they are reading this. 🙂 As a songwriter, I’m blown away with the phrasings that sound so simple but probably took a long time to piece together. The last song that made me cry was “The House That Built Me”. I’d tried for years to write a song saying exactly what they so easily said. Later, I learned it took seven years to write that song.
Be sure to follow Diana on Facebook @ http://dianawilliamsmusic.com/about/