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Daphne Willis: Freaks Like Me

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On her latest EP Freaks Like Me, out Nashville-based singer-songwriter Daphne Willis continues her mastery of self-empowerment themes with yet another fiery elixir infused with edgy pop/soul and graceful touches of R&B. A wild year of emotional upheaval and spiritual growth—including activism in the mental-health arena and meeting the love of her life—has emboldened her to unprecedented levels of raw honesty and vulnerability. No song better encompasses her current outlook than the hauntingly hypnotic title track, which sends a message that everyone has someone in their family who struggles with temporary depression, insomnia, anxiety, gender identity, or sexuality. The powerful pop rocker “Dopamine” extols of the virtues of feeling addicted to something that’s good, safe, and healthy, while the gorgeous piano and vocal ballad “Somebody’s Someone” is a searing take on overcoming through love the dismissive way many people regard homeless and mentally ill people. She sums up the mission of her life and musical aesthetic in “Keep On Keepin’ On,” inspired by a trip Willis took to Cuba, where she learned how the power of artistic expression helped people survive day-to-day oppression and poverty. Check out these links: soundcloud.com/daphnewillis/somebodyssomeone, youtube.com/watch?v=uGgN9vMPUn8&feature=youtu.be, and daphnewillis.com. —Jonathan Widran

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