Frannie B: Creating dance-infused tracks with a touch of vulnerability

"Growth and success in creative industries are never linear and I think the industry puts a lot of weight on this aspect for artists to be perceived as “successful”"
22 May 2024

Frannie B’s journey in the music industry has been nothing short of remarkable. From gracing stages alongside icons like Jessie J to collaborating with renowned labels such as FrtyFve and Sony Sweden, her musical style is a fusion of influences from across the pop spectrum. Drawing inspiration from the catchy hooks of Rita Ora and NOTD to the deeper tones of Bea Miller and Dua Lipa, Frannie B crafts dance-infused tracks with a vulnerability that resonates deeply with listeners.

Frannie B introduces her lush new single saying: “game over is my third release of 2024 and I am very excited to feature my old choir on this track. I recorded with them in a studio in Oxford and the kids on the track range from ages 8-18. This pop dance song is influenced by artists like NOTD and Bea Miller and is about feeling anxious and overwhelmed by life. However, just because it feels hard right now doesn’t mean it’s ‘game over'”.

Her rapid rise to critical acclaim is evident, boasting over 2 million streams on Spotify and earning accolades from esteemed artists like Sinead Harnett and Anne Marie. Frannie’s tunes are now a fixture on BBC Radio, where she’s been featured in numerous interviews and even delivered a memorable acoustic performance on BBC Radio Oxford. And her live gigs? Absolutely electrifying, especially at festivals like Bunkfest, where she’s left audiences spellbound with her magnetic stage charisma.

Beyond her solo endeavors, Frannie B lends her vocal talents to established acts in the industry, including alt-rock sensation Supergrass and folk artist Charlie Dore. But perhaps what sets Frannie B apart is her latest release, a pop-dance track that not only showcases her evolving artistry but also features the Oxford Youth Choir, adding a nostalgic and empowering touch to the music.

Our exclusive interview with Frannie B offers a fresh glimpse into her creative process, discussing the influence of collaborating with the Oxford Youth Choir and sharing her aspirations for listeners who connect with her latest single. Get ready to dive into the world of Frannie B and uncover the inspiration behind her music.

I actually wrote this song specifically to feature the choir as it was through Oxford Youth Choir that I was given the opportunity to record with artists like Supergrass when I was younger.

This is your third release in 2024. How has your artistic approach evolved with each new track, and what makes game over special?

I feel like each new track I make is always an opportunity to improve my writing and to try something slightly different. When I approach a new song, I like for it to have its own personality so that all my songs aren’t just carbon copies of each other. 

This song is special as it feels like i wrote it about my quarter life crisis. I wanted to be very honest in this track with how i felt when comparing my life and progress to everyone else’s. Lyrically this track is very transparent about feeling overwhelmed, burnt out and somehow still always behind which is something that I think is amplified with social media. 

This song is also extra special as it features the Oxford Youth Choir which I was a member of for 7 years as a teenager.

What was it like returning to your roots and recording with the Oxford Youth Choir? How did working with them influence the song’s final sound and message?

Recording with the choir was so much fun, we got all the kids in a studio and they seemed to really enjoy the experience.

I actually wrote this song specifically to feature the choir as it was through Oxford Youth Choir that I was given the opportunity to record with artists like Supergrass when I was younger. Being able to have those experiences myself as a kid really influenced me into working in the music industry so it was great to then *be* the artist working with the new generation and hopefully inspiring a few of them. As I wrote this song with them in mind, I wanted the choruses to have a powerful melody and a sing-a-long feel to them that the choir could really add some nice power and nostalgia to. 

Writing for the kids did also affect the message of the lyrics as I wanted the song that I did with them to be personal, real and empowering. I hoped that by being authentic through the lyrics, it could be a reminder to them, when they listen to it, that it’s actually okay when life feels a little tough. Sometimes it’s nice to be made aware that everyone feels like they are losing direction sometimes and you aren’t in it alone. 

You mentioned that game over doesn’t mean the end, despite life’s challenges. Can you elaborate on how you want listeners to feel after hearing this song?

When I wrote this song I realised I was taking ages to reply to all my friends and get back to people because I was feeling pretty overwhelmed. I was always looking at what other people were doing and thinking that I wasn’t doing as well as them and wondering why my life didn’t look like theirs which is something I think its so easy to do on social media. It was like I was having my quarter life crisis and I could almost feel myself panicking at the idea that I was doing life wrong and running out of time. 

So I wrote this song as a reminder to myself and anyone else who might feel similar that it’s actually okay to feel like everything is a lot and out of your control and like you have no clue what you’re doing because I think the secret is that everyone feels like that more than they like to let on. It’s okay to feel lost because it’s not over yet and there’s still so much for you to try and experience. So I hope that listening to this song can be validating and empowering to people who feel a little stuck.

How have artists like NOTD and Bea Miller influenced your style in this latest track, and what new elements did you bring to this pop-dance song?

I have always loved that genre of dance infused pop music with strong lyrics and melody lines while also being fun to dance to so I have definitely taken those influences in this new track. I love Bea Millers vulnerability in her lyrics and the darkness to her pop tracks which I have also been inspired by here. 
The production itself is very NOTD inspired with the big dance infused post chorus sections.

I think the newest element for me was definitely incorporating the choir as it is something that isn’t used a huge amount in the genre so it was exciting to figure out how to blend the choir into the track and work it in wit the rest of the arrangement.  

Your music has been critically acclaimed and praised by artists like Sinead Harnett and Anne-Marie. How does this recognition affect your creative process, if at all?

Honestly I don’t think I ever properly take enough time to appreciate these kinds of achievements. I think a toxic trait that a lot of artists have is that you set yourself these goals and aspirations but when you hit them you frequently forget to take them in and instead focus on moving on to the next thing.

But getting positive feedback and kind words from artists whose music I have really enjoyed and looked up to for years did in-still a bit more faith and confidence in myself and my abilities as an artist and writer. I think it made me doubt my artistic choices less.

After a successful return to the live stage post-COVID, what was your most memorable festival performance, and how did it shape your outlook on live shows?

I’ve played some really amazing shows since getting back into live music after COVID including local festivals and some London based events. 

But I think the most memorable was my first year playing Bunkfest. I was feeling a bit rough with a lingering sore throat at the time and decided to make myself some honey and tea to bring with me. I was running late for soundcheck so I poured the tea straight in a thermal mug and jumped straight in the passenger seat of the car. Unfortunately the steam pushed the lid off without me noticing so the second we turned out of the house I spilled the whole cup into my lap…

I jumped out of the moving car and took all my clothes off in the road which is always a great way to start my festival run. Luckily there weren’t too many passers-by to witness my burning panic strip show. 
I got some frozen peas and dry trousers before rushing back out again and still managed to arrive on time. The festival staff were really understanding and delayed my set so that i could visit the ambulance tent first where they patched me up with some special cooling patches. I still did all 3 of my sets (sat down and with a lot of ice) before heading off to a&e. So i won’t be forgetting that weekend in a hurry.

The experience did show me that it takes a lot to stop me from doing a performance and now that I know I can struggle through a show like that, I do tend to feel much more comfortable on stage. As long as I don’t end up in hospital after a show, it feels like it was a success!

How does lending your vocal talents to other artists like Supergrass and Charlie Dore impact your own creative process and songwriting style?

It really helped me see and experience the inner workings of the music industry from a young age which was invaluable as it immediately made it feel more accessible to me. From a creative aspect, helped me realise that songs don’t have to be over complicated. A big trap that I used to fall into was thinking that for a song to be good it had to be very complex and clever, and while of course some songs are, sometimes in pop music the simple ideas can be the strongest.

Watching these established professionals work and make creative decisions on the spot while workshopping ideas in the rehearsal process showed me from the start that there really is no “right” or “wrong” when it comes to art.

If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?

In an ideal world I would love to remove the constant pressure to focus so much on the numbers. Whether it’s counting streams or views or likes, there seems to always be the need to compare your figures and stats to everyone else’s as if that defines good music. When the reality is that just because you aren’t having your big moment right now, doesn’t mean it’s never coming. Plenty of successful artists who are making music full-time don’t have earth shattering stats. Growth and success in creative industries are never linear and I think the industry puts a lot of weight on this aspect for artists to be perceived as “successful”.

What’s next for you?

I’m constantly working on new music and have already finished up my next single which I am excited to release this summer. I am mainly focusing on releasing singles at the moment rather than larger bodies of work so I am working on my upcoming releases for the year. 
I also have a few upcoming shows this summer, one of which is with the Oxford Youth Choir so I’m excited to perform this track live with them. 

How would you describe your perfect day?

I would probably start by treating myself to a lie-in which I rarely get the chance for at the moment. Then I think my perfect day would be near Christmas time as I just adore the fairy light/hot chocolate/cosy evenings season.

I would take my dog for a frosty walk thought the woods (I love animals and nature) and then we would stop by our local Christmas tree barn where they have the most joyful shop and little stalls selling warm spiced apple juice.

I also have a pet sheep called Richard so I’d like to stop by and get some sheep cuddles in on my way home. Then I’d light a fire in our living room and snuggle up for a cosy film evening and order in pizza or calzone from our local Italian restaurant. That sounds pretty perfect to me.

©FM

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