SO WHO IS
First things first, Frankie has been gigging around the city she calls home since she was 14, but since going on her own mental health journey, she explains that there is a newfound clarity and sense of self in her music. With only two tracks to her name, she’s as raw as they come but with a voice like treacle, chocolate, and a summer evening all rolled into one, she is clearly destined for big things.
Frankie is a genuine music obsessive. Weened by her parents on everything from the old school jazz and soul classics that clearly influence her to ska, punk, country and beyond she can (and regularly does) talk at length about all things music related.
In her own words: “Music is everything! I am ALWAYS listening to music, in the shower, at the gym, while I’m painting, while I’m walking, in the car at work, literally never not listening.
“I’m not good at small talk, I’m quite an awkward and anxious soul so I struggle with new people/people I don’t know that well - but talk to me about music and you’ve got a friend for life, I’ll chew your ear off!
“It’s gotten me through every single shit time ever, it’s how I express myself when I feel sad, happy or angry. I just dunno what I’d do without it, I eat, breathe and sleep it.”
IN HER WORDS
I went through something really awful and subsequently for a few years I struggled so much with my mental health. I was really quite poorly, I had completely lost who I was as a person and didn’t really see a way out I felt quite trapped in this mind and body that I just didn’t recognise anymore.
After a lot of help and a lot of hard work that I put into getting better, I’m now in the best place I’ve ever been, a place where I feel like myself again, hence why it’s only this year I’ve felt ready to release my music.
I have a new outlook on life, a positive outlook - I am just grateful to be here and have gotten out of that place so I feel like the world around me is just full of wonder again because I couldn’t see any for so long now everything is just beautiful.
I feel a lot of love, a lot of gratitude, I love that I’m in love with my partner but also love that I am in love with myself now too. I love people, I love seeing people in love, I love romance and the romance in the natural world around us - I can romanticise almost everything, and I think my songs reflect that!
First things first, Frankie is a genuine music obsessive. A northern Jorja Smith; Aretha Franklin if she kicked back, put on some sweatpants and danced in front of the sunset; Billie Holiday for love-struck teenagers with clichéd tattoos…
It’s safe to say comparisons don’t come close when talking about Frankie - She has the truly unique quality of being so contemporary yet with such a nostalgic sound. I guarantee her silky smooth vocals will woo you from the first lick. With her latest release, Summer’s Come Early, Frankie drowns the listener with raw emotion until they’re floating in some kind of lover’s soup, adrift with nothing but a smile on their face and hook in their head.
Despite all her zeal, it should be noted that Frankie is still a growing artist finding her voice and her other track Are We Dreaming? doesn’t quite hit the highs we know she is capable of. But with that said, there is something undeniable about her. Summer’s Come Early so quickly makes all other love songs so irrelevant and even during flatter sections of Are We Dreaming? her vocals embrace you like a wounded lover making peace once again.
“My last two songs are about my boyfriend. We got together in summer and when I think about us it feels like a dreamy hazy summer - i think that's why they are quite lusty as well. Everything clicked and was so natural between us straight away i think we both knew it was gonna be proper special. I wrote a lot about him in my journal that summer and there’s some really beautiful phrases in amongst what I'd written that just work as lyrics.
Lyrics will just pop into my head and I’ll save them in my phone then go back to them and write around that one lyric when I hear the music. I keep a journal too and a lot of my lyrics have been things I’ve written in my journal that I liked the sound of. Honestly, I'm someone who fully wears their heart on their sleeve - I am very emotional and in tune with my emotions so my songs will always reflect that because music is how I express and deal with all my emotions!
But yeah, I have been with people in the past who have not treated me well at all, but he’s just mint, we have so much fun together and bottom line is we just get on, we don’t have to try it’s been effortless the whole time. He’s super supportive of my music. I'm just glad I don't embarrass him with it all."
Unafraid of journalistic clichés, TRLBLZR presents the silly questions… lol we are so zany.
If you could kiss one historical figure who would it be?
- “If he’d have me I’d probs give Martin Luther King a big fat snog, pretty inspirational guy! I’m not religious but it would be funny to say you’d snogged Jesus. But also Van Gogh — I just feel like he was such a beautiful soul, so tormented but his art showed all the beauty in life. There’s a Don Mclean song called Vincent about him and it’s so gorgeous and emotional and moving and it makes me feel like i would’ve loved him. Wouldn’t want any ears in the post though sorry Vincent pet.
What is your favourite animal?
- “I’m obsessed with possums! They are the most weird little unhinged crazy looking animals and they make me crease. They are so so funny, their facial expressions are just mad and they seem to always find themselves in daft situations — also the noise they make is a weird little scream and I feel like i probs just relate to that a bit."
Where are you most likely to be found on a Friday night?
- “Either the pub with all my mates or in bed with my boyfriend and 40 quids worth of Chinese takeaway — no in between!”
MORE FRANKIE PLEASE
Newcastle, known by locals as the Toon, is deeply part of Frankie’s identity, Her family all live in the area and you can see the local football stadium from her house.
It was in that house that a young Frankie used to open her bedroom windows and sing out in the hopes that someone would hear and whisk her away to music stardom. She still lives and works in the city where she can be found at the pub with her mates or in bed with her boyfriend drowning in a mass of Chinese food.
At 23 Frankie’s career has just begun. Her main aim is to play the iconic Tynemouth Priory, just outside of Newcastle, with the city singing her lyrics back to her.
“I think I've only really scratched the surface of what I am capable of - I have a A LOT of growing to do as an artist but I am so excited to be on this journey and grow and see my songs grow with me.
“Expect songs recorded with a full band, live gigs where I’ll get to show off my stage presence haha, and differently experimenting into different genres.”
Having written her dissertation about the representation of non-male artists at music festivals, Frankie is keen to promote women in an industry that lacks many HR provisions traditional sectors do.
“It is really shocking in this day and age and unfortunately a lot of people I spoke to were under the impression that there isn’t as many good female artists making music (obviously this is untrue)."
"But without the representation across the industry then obviously music made by women isn’t going to get heard and loved by as many people, and if people aren’t listening to it then the people pulling the strings at the top will think there isn’t a big enough target audience and the cycle continues."
“This is a very brief description of what I found but it is so important that all parts of the industry are trying to promote women in music to try and break this cycle - even if it’s someone clicking on my playlist to broaden the genders they listen too and realising there’s a lot of great great music being made by women.”
When asked if people could only remember one thing about her Frankie replied:
“That I’m a very loud but very down to earth Geordie that wears her heart on her sleeve hahah, that I’m strong and kind and that I love people and love making music that might mean something for people!
“I just love music and making music, and I’m super grateful to be doing it, and overwhelmed by all the love I'm receiving from lovely lovely people! I’m here and I have a lot of growing and learning to do but I’m happy to do that through my music!”
Listen to Frankie on all major streaming platforms, or if you’re in the Newcastle area why not listen in person? Frankie is playing at Tinker Smiths in South Shields on 17th June.
- Good luck from all the TRLBLZR Team XXX