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September 17, 2016
With Chicago roots and Texas ties, Daphne Willis brings both musicality and grit to the songs she writes and plays. Born in San Antonio to a classically trained vocalist and audio engineer, Daphne began singing at an early age and found her way to the guitar in high school. Since then, she’s developed the confidence, melodic mastery and vocal range that have won her admirers from here to Beijing. Daphne didn’t plan a career in music, but as a student at DePaul University in Chicago, she found herself performing at open mic nights, which led to regular Chicago gigs, and eventually, a decision to leave school and hit the road. She assembled a band and began playing 200 shows a year across the United States. Daphne released her independent EP, Matter of Time, in 2007. In a twist of fate, Vanguard Records’ Kevin Welk heard one of Daphne’s tracks on an American Airlines flight, which led to her second EP, Exhibit A, in 2008. To record her first full-length album, Daphne headed to the hills of Tennessee and released What to Say in 2010. Album number two, Because I Can, came out in 2011 and reached the number two spot on iTunes’ Top 40 Singer/Songwriter Chart. On her most recent EP, Inside Outright, Daphne co-wrote songs with Hunter Davis, Chris Faulk, Angela Lauer, John Oates of Hall & Oates, Keri Barnes and Tim Lauer.