I want to be a global inspiration not just in music, but in art in general. I have a lot that I’m capable of doing and I’m definitely going to do it - Frenchie
About an hour before Frenchie’s feature set at Rents Due - a monthly music showcase held at Philadelphia’s Bourbon and Branch - Frenchie is patiently waiting to take the stage. She says she’s nervous, but the nerves are good because they mean she cares. The nerves make sense, though; if you’re not nervous then you may be a bit overconfident. But, for Frenchie, she’s not underestimating any stage, no matter the size. And having the opportunity to perform in front of friends and fans isn't something she takes lightly.
Based in Philadelphia, Frenchie has spent time in a music duo, modeling, writing for other artists, choreographing, and teaching dance. But, for her, this year’s been about taking strides for her own work. With the release of her new single, Prove It, Frenchie’s out to prove that’s she’s not only a talented singer/songwriter, but a total artist that’s committed to her craft, and ready to go to the next level. I caught up with Frenchie to talk about her new single, staying motivated, 90s R&B, and more. Here's our conversation:
You spent some time in a group, working and writing for other people, so this single is somewhat of a reintroduction to you as a solo artist. Can you talk about the process of reintroducing, and branding, yourself?
Frenchie: I would be here all day explaining the process [laughs], but I’ll sum it up to, not giving up on myself, staying late at the studio, building my sound, going to meetings, praying, reading, watching, learning, and putting forth the effort to really get myself together mentally so that I can properly deliver. I work super hard. I haven’t put out solo material in 4 years, so this reintroduction means a lot, I just had to make it right.
Stanley: Yeah, the mental/spiritual preparation is so critical, but often overlooked.
I’m curious - during those 4 years when you weren’t putting out music, what kept you motivated and inspired?
Frenchie: I have a very strong love for what I do, so that alone kept me motivated, amongst other things. Constantly trying to build on what I have, and learning new things. I don’t mean to get all religious, but keeping God first and keeping focused helped a hell of a lot.
Stanley: That's inspiring. I think a lot of people, may have turned around, gone the other way, and given up.
There’s nothing like giving people a good memory, but giving them a taste of my personal style all at the same time...
Prove It is really transparent and forthright. What was the inspiration for the song? Who was the producer?
Frenchie: Honestly, I took that beat [laughs]! One day I was in the studio with Larry Lambert and Rque (the producers of the record). I was actually there to record a different song, they just so happen to be playing that particular beat when I walked in, and I got hype like “who’s beat is this??!!” [laughs] No one had claimed it yet so I bugged them about it until they gave it to me. The melody in the beat kind of gave me the Destiny's Child Say My Name vibe, so I just went with that theme and built the song around it. I just put my own twist to it. There’s nothing like giving people a good memory, but giving them a taste of my personal style all at the same time. “Say my name” was a BIG record.
I just want to be successful, and it’s not to say that I’m not already, but I want to be global...
It's funny you mentioned Destiny's Child, and how influential the song was - I've noticed that you really have an ear for 90s R&B. Prove It, uses some of Say My Name. What is it about 90’s R&B that draws you to that era’s sound?
Frenchie: The vibe, music was different back then. 90’s R&B had a raw energy that I’ve always wanted to capture. Music felt different, it felt real, and it really tackled your emotions.
Stanley: Yeah, that vulnerability in music was certainly there. Using Say My Name music so much sense! Like, a good framework to start with.
What’s something you want people to take away from the song?
Frenchie: For women to not be so gullible and accepting of any type of treatment, and for men to “man up”, take responsibility, and either be with one [person] or let go. Honestly, it works both ways. Also, people interpret things differently so take what you want from it, just make sure it’s something good! [laughs]
The single’s out now, for everyone to hear. As an artist, where do you see yourself going next?
Frenchie: Wherever God allows me to go. I have so many goals set, man. I just want to be successful, and it’s not to say that I’m not already, but I want to be global. I want to be a global inspiration not just in music, but in art in general. I have a lot that I’m capable of doing and I’m definitely going to do it.
You can follow Frenchie on Instagram @JustFrenchie!