’Tis the season for trees, cookies, lights… and sentimental holiday commercials that move viewers to unabashed tears. This year’s contender for weeper of the year comes from Apple, whose 2014 holiday ad is quietly but deeply touching.
The commercial, titled simply “The Song,” has been blowing up on social media (and was named “ad of the day” earlier in the month by Adweek), and features a simple concept: A young woman figures out a way to update a Voice-O-Graph recording her grandmother created in the ’50s — by putting in her own vocals and guitar to create an affecting duet.
The sniffles start when “Grandma” listens to the newly enhanced song — the Gershwin classic “Love Is Here to Stay,” in case you’re wondering — but the star of the ad is unquestionably the young singer, whose lilting vocals sound both modern and vintage at once. So, just who is this talented newcomer?
Turns out it’s not too hard to track her down: She’s Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Dana Williams, who in her mid-20s has already started to make a splash in Hollywood. The vocalist appeared on the first season of ABC’s talent competition Rising Star last summer, where she placed fourth overall.
Her bio for Rising Star notes that Williams was primarily influenced by her late father, David, who played rhythm guitar for no less than Michael Jackson, and bought his daughter her first guitar.
Williams went on to graduate from Sarah Lawrence College, and found initial jobs as a teacher’s assistant in an elementary art school class and as a private guitar instructor. However, it looks as though her foray into the world of professional music is “here to stay.”
Williams recently told MTV she’s working on a sophomore release, and no doubt her exposure from Apple’s emotional commercial will keep her at the top of music fans’ minds.