Francine Belle Interview.
With the release of her latest track ‘Diamond’, we got the chance to talk with Francine Belle. From her inspirations to her aspirations find out about the talented Singer, Songwriter and Producer.
Break down for our reader, who is Francine Belle?
I’m a London-based singer, songwriter and producer. I’ve toured in bands and worked as a session vocalist. While doing all that, I wrote, co-produced and recorded my album, and have released a couple of singles independently. I love music and want to share mine with as many people as possible. Those are the highlights!
Describe your sound in 5 words
Melodic. Epic. Lyrical. Layered. Colourful.
What was the moment that made you start writing doing and producing music?
I grew up in a very musical household. I used to sing backing vocals for my brother, who is also a singer. Because everyone at home was quite musical, I just assumed singing was something everyone could do. I’d say the moment happened at secondary school. We had a music lesson and I had to sing a song in front of the class. I performed my song as I would have done at home, or one of my brother’s shows, and to my surprise the teacher took me to one side afterwards and said I had a very special voice. That was the first time I actually considered that I had talent.
We heard you performed back vocals for Elton John. How was that experience?
It was a great experience. Elton was very nice to all of us musicians. He took the time to greet everyone and shake our hands warmly. I remember he was wearing the most amazing diamond rings of many colours. Probably worth the cost of a house!
Watching the ‘Beautiful Heights’ video, we love it. Very powerful video and your vocals are great. What were the inspirations behind the song and video?
Thank you. Beautiful Heights came to me in dream, almost fully formed – chorus melody and lyrics. I rolled over in bed grabbed my phone and recorded the voicenote, before promptly falling back asleep. I think I still have the voicenote, with yawns in it and everything.
I usually produce my songs by emulating the instruments I want, using vocals. On this one, I actually liked the way it sounded with layered voices only. When I reached out to Ben Bram, the acappella arranger for Pentatonix, I was thrilled that he was inspired to add further arrangement and bass vocals. The final song is me, Ben and drums – that’s it.
I liked the simplicity of that and wanted to have that masculine and feminine energy present in the video, hence the colour scheme. I also felt that the pastel theme suited the ethereal lyrics.
We got a chance to watch your current video, ‘Diamond’. Just like your previous release, we are really into it. How did song come about?
Thank you so much. The producer Legend Otwenty hit me up on Instagram about collaborating and sent the track over. It immediately clicked with me. The chord structure was lovely and I adore Afrobeats.
I wrote it and recorded my vocals at my home studio in the same week. I then asked him if he’d be happy for me to add some string arrangements. I think the shimmering quality suits the theme of Diamonds and is a little bit subversive with the percussion style. I love the way it all melts together and I feel that the strings and the drums reflect both sides of me as a British-Nigerian artist.
The video is about that theme of duality too. I wanted to show two different sides to London –luxurious scenes along with the high-rise cityscape, just like a diamond combines hard lines and glamour.
Name us your dream artist to work with?
There’s so much amazing talent, it would be difficult to choose. I adore SZA – can’t wait for her next album. I loved her song with Rihanna so a collab like that could be phenomenal. I also adore Gallant’s voice – a duet with him would be epic. And I’m really into Rosalía – the artistry that goes into everything she does, and her voice. A collab with her would be something unique.
What are your plans for 2020?
I will be performing my first headline shows and I’m very much looking forward to releasing my album!