The soft-spoken breakout star of NBC’s flashy Twitter-overloaded vocal competition The Voice was Utah-based singer-songwriter Dia Frampton, whose offbeat yet powerful twists on songs like Kanye West’s “Heartless” and R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion” landed her in the runner-up slot. Her first post-Voice effort, Red, is out now and features a number of quote-unquote hip guests spots you might not expect to see from a contestant on such a high-profile TV show. But Dia’s got more cool cred than you might think, from her indie roots to her musician friends and willingness to share a little behind-the-scenes “Voice” gossip. Check out five things you didn’t know about Dia below.
1. She has indie roots in the group Meg & Dia
Dia got her start performing with her sister Meg in the band Meg & Dia. The group had four albums and a few Warped Tours under its belt before Dia auditioned for The Voice to support the release of Meg & Dia’s latest album “Cocoon.” She says her years on the road helped prepare her for a performance competition, and also helped her recognize her strengths and weaknesses. “I don’t have a five-octave range,” she notes. “Looking at my strengths, I’m a singer-songwriter. I can play an instrument. I have a different take on songs.”
Red runs the gamut with special guests, from country superstar and Dia’s “Voice” coach Blake Shelton to hipster-friendly rapper Kid Cudi. She also brought on board Foster the People’s Isom Innis, with whom she’s been friends for a few years, and Mark Foster for one of the album’s highlights, the funky, dance-floor-ready “Billy the Kid.” But the most interesting collaboration she had was with Isabella Summers of Florence + the Machine, who used such tactics as clacking high heels on the floor as a percussion device. “She’s kind of like a mad scientist when she’s writing,” Dia says. “I felt like a five-year-old throwing ingredients in to make a cake, and it ended up being a really awesome cake.”
3. She’s NOT Miley Cyrus
Pressure to work with high-profile songwriters and producers often comes with the territory when landing a major record deal. But Dia firmly stood her ground. “The hit-makers in L.A., I tend to stay away from. I definitely went into some songwriting sessions where I had to get up and leave,” she explains, noting one session in particular left the other party rather offended. She asserts: “Respectfully, I’m not Miley Cyrus.”
4. Christina Aguilera was the biggest diva on The Voice set … but not exactly how you’d think
Of Christina Aguilera’s rumored diva-ness on the show, Dia says she was, “but not really in a mean way; just in an awesome way,” adding “she’s just … so … famous.” She says all the judges — Aguilera, Shelton, Cee Lo Green and Adam Levine — had their respective entourages in tow, though Cee Lo’s included a supermodel makeup girl.
5. She’s kinda-sorta dress buddies with Miranda Lambert
For the finale of The Voice, Dia sang a duet with country star and Shelton’s wife Miranda Lambert. Prior to the taping, in a surreal moment, Dia received a personal email from Lambert asking her what dress she was wearing so they could match. “I could not believe she was asking.”