I know her as half of the songwriting force behind one of my favourite bands of all-time, MEG & DIA.
You may be more familiar with her as DIA FRAMPTON - runner-up on Season One of 'The Voice' US and Entertainment Weekly's 2011 'Favourite Reality Show Personality'.
Influenced by the likes of Tom Petty and Joni Mitchell, Dia's debut solo album 'Red' marks the very first time that an album from the Frampton sisters has been officially released in New Zealand - on which, she collaborated with Florence + The Machine's Isabella Summers and Foster The People's Mark Foster and Isom Innis.
Here's hoping, that it's only a matter of time now until Dia Frampton is no longer an underrated name in our part of the world...
COUP DE MAIN: Are there any differences between how you approached writing songs for Meg and Dia, and how you now write songs as a solo artist?
DIA FRAMPTON: Honestly, not really. When I wrote for Meg and Dia, Meg and I wrote separately, just as I do now really.
CDM: What was it like working with Isabella Summers [of Florence + The Machine] on your song, 'Bullseye'?
DIA: It was really inspiring. She is a very talented producer. While working with her, there were no rules. We literally just sat together in a room the size of a large closet and went at it. She started banging these two picture frames together which created a weird percussive sound and we started from there. It was a hot day in a California Summer so we had to switch off the A/C every second we would record. We started boiling!
CDM: Did you have fun musically experimenting with Foster The People's Mark Foster and Isom Innis while writing 'Billy The Kid'?
DIA: It was very fun to write that song. Isom started the track with a kind if spaghetti western kind of feel, which reminded me of Clint Eastwood. I said, "we should write a story about cowboys!" expecting him to shoot the idea down, but he was all about it. It was a fun tune to write. We set up late into the night dancing in his living room.
CDM: What does your song 'Hearts Out To Dry' mean to you personally?
DIA: That song is one of the most special on my album. Meg and I wrote it together. Lyrically it's about hanging on to something that you should have let go of years before. It's about clinging dearly to something already lost. Meg and I worked on that song for a long time, throwing around so many different ideas. I told her finally that I wanted the chorus to "hit you like a train". I think only because she is my sister, did she understand.
CDM: A lot of the songs on 'Red' relate really personal stories that one might miss if only casually listening - have you ever come cross anyone who has seriously mis-interpreted your lyrics?
DIA: Yes, but I never correct them. If my lyrics mean something special to someone... that's the most important thing to me. It doesn't matter if it's 'right' or not. It is kind of funny though, for instance, when someone comes up to me and says: "I love 'Good Boy!' It makes me so happy that I just want to dance!" To me, that song is very depressing.
CDM: Out of all the songs that you've ever written, what are your favourite lyrics that you've penned?
DIA: A song called 'Love Is' on the Meg and Dia 'Cocoon' album or 'Trapeze' off of 'RED'. They are just very personal to me. It's hard to sing those songs without crying.
CDM: When you're performing live, do you mentally re-live the moments in time / stories that you wrote the songs about, or have you distanced yourself from those situations now?
DIA: It honestly depends on the night. Every performance is different. There are so many factors involved... the people I've met that day, the weather, the city I'm in, conversations, sleep, mood, everything. However, there are many nights when the stars align and I feel like both the story teller and the stranger in the crowd, hearing it all for the very first time.
CDM: When writing a song, how or when do you know that it's complete?
DIA: You never do. I have to force myself to finish it and leave it alone. I'm a perfectionist... So to me, if I had my way, a song is never perfect, never finished.
CDM: Your sister Meg has been chronicling/retelling 'The Meg and Dia Story' on her blog, what's your most treasured memory of her?
DIA: So many, really. We had a good childhood together. We wrote Peter Pan plays together, made time machines out of cardboard boxes, made up different 'fairy' languages, and of course, talked about boys all the time together.
CDM: What is the best advice that your mentor on 'The Voice', Blake Shelton, gave you?
DIA: Don't take life too seriously! Learn to enjoy yourself and be grateful for all you have.
CDM: What do you think are the five most important things for any musician to incorporate into their work ethic and how they approach having a sustainable long-term career in the music industry?
DIA: Firstly, play as many live shows as you can - and locally, try and open up for touring acts. Find good management. If they ask you to sign a contract up front or for money, that's usually a bad sign. Write your own music and write frequently. Go to as many live shows as you can as well (of bands you enjoy of course). You can learn a lot watching other performers. Keep up with social media too! Twitter and Facebook are both great ways to get your music out, especially internationally.
CDM: Were you wary of signing to Universal Republic [a major record label again] after your experiences with Warner Bros. Records?
DIA: No, I was excited for a second chance.
CDM: If you were a flavour of ice-cream cake, what would you be?
DIA: Right now, fresh raspberry and lavender.
CDM: How is your novel progressing? When can fans expect it to be published?
DIA: I am on the final draft (hopefully). As far as publishing goes, I have no clue yet. My main focus now is on completing it. I'll worry about publishing later.
CDM: If you could be a Disney Princess, who would you choose to be?
DIA: Snow White! I was her for Halloween one year!
CDM: Can we hope that you'll visit us in New Zealand one day?
DIA: I would lovvvveee to go there! Honestly, I don't know a lot about New Zealand except that it is beautiful! All of my friends in bands who have toured there have said great things about it so I hope I can go perform there soon!
Watch 'The Broken Ones' music video below...