Frankee Reveals Debut Album Plans
Since smashing through on Program in the summer of 2012 with the label’s debut release – Firethorn/Pandorum – Frankee hasn’t made a bad move.
Operating on a less-is-more basis, his small-but-seismic output (usually averaging at an EP or single every nine months) features no filler whatsoever. Just stone cold club killers from the still riotous Gully way back in 2014 to last year’s Clap Your Hands and, most recently, the rave-tinged, goosebump-inducing Romana.
It turns out Romana is extra special as it marks the start of an album project for the UK artist. And, like his slow and steady output has already foretold… He’s not taking it lightly. None of the standard drum & bass clichés apply: There’ll be no soulless strings of 12 bangers, there’ll be no throwaway downtempo or cross-genre excursions and there will be plenty of surprises.
Tapping deep into the last (and craziest) five years of his life, Frankee is in a good place right now, reflecting on his experiences and what he’s learnt as a person and as an artist. While he’s not quite ready to reveal the album title or release date, he’s definitely setting the scene with clarity.
Get to know…
You’re ready to talk about your album. Awesome news.
The last few years have been crazy! I’ve travelled the world and I’ve achieved some serious life goals. It’s all been a bit of a celebratory blur and I’m truly humbled to have been able to do what I’ve done. Now, it’s time to knuckle down and work on the next step. It’s been a while in the making but I’m enjoying every minute and I’m not rushing anything. Writing an album is a completely different but exciting process to how I have previously released music.
In what way?
It’s got to the point where some of the music I’m writing isn’t necessarily suitable to release as singles/EPs so I’ve begun to get my mind into writing an album and the concept for it has slowly become clearer day by day. Just switching my head into this gear has inspired me to write differently to what I’m used to. I’m trying to add as many personal touches into the project as possible whether it be the music or the artwork. Me and Simone Verza, the man behind the artwork for the project have been in touch on a regular basis to make sure my vision is conveyed clearly. Simone did the artwork for Black Heart which I loved so I wanted to get him involved again. I didn’t want it to be just random shapes and colours, instead, were trying to make each piece compliment the vibe of the respected song.
You’ve never put out something unless it’s something worth saying. So I guess that’s the same for every aspect of any release and how you approach your album?
First and foremost I think it’s important that I love the final product. It’s become a relationship and I’m taking it very seriously. I’m putting the work in to get it right so I’ve quit the day job for now which has allowed me to put all my focus on the project. I’ve reminded myself why I’m doing this in the first place and why I fell in love with the music all those years ago. It’s very easy to loose sight of that one important fundamental when everything else is kicking off. The best advice someone ever gave me was ‘stay true to yourself, do your thing and everything else is irrelevant’. I’m not writing this for anyone or anything, I’m writing it for myself and you may like it, you may not but I hope you can understand that.
Fully understood! What else can you tell us?
I’ve made sure that it’s not just a collection of bangers or liquid tunes. I get bored writing the same thing constantly. I find it very hard to express real emotion when writing the dancefloor tunes but then sometimes all I want to do is make a racket. I’ve made sure when I’ve released music in the past that I make this point clear and I guess the album is a more concise extension of that. It’s all drum & bass but expect every avenue explored. I have been writing the music for the LP for a while now but it’s not until I sat back and listened to a batch of tunes together that I realised it was naturally coming together. It worked because I didn’t pressurise myself into it. I’m just putting the finishing touches to everything but I’m not writing off producing something new.
Have any of your travels and life experiences inspired the album in any way?
Absolutely! The album is a collection of things that have inspired, affected or changed me in one way or another. Not necessarily a story but snapshots of me up to date. The Australia tour last year was a massive life changer with a lot of crazy events. Luckily enough, I had my laptop and headphones at the ready to get some of those emotions recorded musically. I have been doing a bit of yoga for the last year or so and some meditation which has completely changed my outlook on life for the better. My yoga tutor is an absolute legend and has massively inspired me along the way. Inspiration comes from the most random and unexpected places and people so I think subconsciously I am always being inspired.
Need to discuss Romana for a second. A good sign of things to come? That vocal sample (and the vibe in general) really taps into the emotional rave science roots…
Romana is the introduction to the LP and it was the beginning of a new chapter in my writing process. The old rave sound was and is a huge inspiration to me so naturally I often make music that includes that element. I always try to have a theme in mind when I write music, I find it gives me much more of a creative mindset when it comes to getting the vibe right.
What else can you tell us right now?
Expect to hear some more tunes taken from the album very soon along with some remixes and obviously if you come out to see me DJ you will be hearing a lot of album material. Some that may not even make the cut.