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September 2018
Feature

Frances: "I could have happily written an album of ballads, but that could get pretty boring."

Tipped for the top, Frances is on a charge.
Published: 1:24 pm, July 07, 2016
Frances: "I could have happily written an album of ballads, but that could get pretty boring."
Since before the start of the year, Frances has been on the fast track to the top. Industry nods in 2016's new act circus only made the probable relatively certain. With a brand new single, 'Say It Again', out now, we caught up with her for the first issue of Dork as one of the new acts heading for big things.

Hey Frances. Since the release of ‘Grow’ last July, it’s been really full on for you. Have you been having a nice time?


It’s really fun. I’ve done some really cool things, I’ve travelled a lot and I’ve done some stuff that I didn’t think I’d ever get to do.


Did you expect people to react to your music like they have?


No. Not ever. I just thought I’d record them and then see what happens. You can never really predict anything in music because everything changes so quickly but I’m really happy that people have decided they like it.


You’ve won a BRIT Award and been part of the BBC’s Sound Of Poll, do things like that put you under more pressure?


There’s pressure from all angles, but never more than what you put on yourself. As a songwriter and a singer you always want to do better and make sure you’re delivering all the time. Things like that, they’re just encouraging more than anything.


Any nerves?


Yeah, but I think you have to employ a fake confidence, which is what I do. If you’re really nervous, then just go ‘oh no, I’m an artist’. You’ve just got to try and get on with it, which seems to work. People tend to believe me.


Does this level of success change how you approach writing new material?


Sitting down and writing a song is what I’ve always wanted to do. It’s a very natural thing. I’ve tried to maintain the reason why I started writing songs when I was twelve, which was because I quite liked it.


What do you want people to take from your music?


The aim has just been to move people. The main aim is just to give them something they can enjoy, share, cry to, laugh to or whatever it does. It’s all about sharing and moving people.


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What inspires you?


All sorts. Everything around me really. I’m quite an observant person. I’m a big people watcher. I write about a lot of my own personal experiences, but also experiences of people around me or people I’ve seen on the bus. I’m interested in people and what’s behind the eyes. Traveling is great for it... Sitting in airports, brilliant.


What’s the rest of the year got in store for you?


My album will be released towards the end of the year and there’ll loads of playing live and travelling.


Album, you say? How’s that coming along?


It’s nearly finished. I think it’s sounding good. I’ve been working on it for quite a long time. I finished the studio block and then there was months and months of mixing and tweaking bits. I’m so picky, so it’s never ending but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel now.


What can you tell us about it?


It has a running theme that is suggested by the title, but I can’t tell anyone that yet which is annoying. It’s not a concept album but there is a theme that carries through. I just wanted to keep it all about the songs and make sure they’re coming across. Production varies from song to song, a couple I’ve made sure are kept to just me and piano, some of them are more built up in terms of electronic sounds and then I’ve got a full band behind some of them. I wanted to make sure it was varied. I could have happily written an album of ballads, but that could get pretty boring.


Are there still things you want to achieve with your music?


Of course, I think any artist who says they don’t want to win a Grammy is lying because that’s ridiculous. I want all of those things, but at the same time I’m really happy with how things have gone so far. It’s easy to get used to where you are and not get excited, to let it become normal, but I haven’t. I still get very excited.

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