Some weeks ago I sent one of my favourite musicians a message. I didn’t expect a reply, nor did I expect it to come so quickly. I was thrilled to receive that reply just two days later. Frances is my favourite solo artist, not just for her voice but also the lyrics that she writes and it is a privilege to have her blessing for this article.
Frances is an emerging artist, rising quickly to the top of the music world with her songs Don’t Worry About Me and Grow. She has been compared by some to Adele such is her talent at the tender age of just 23. The most endearing aspect of Frances’ music is that each lyric means something to her, each song is personal.
Many modern day artists use fillers to add to their songs through endless ahh‘s and ooh’s, not Frances. There are no nonsense lyrics or coinages here. Perhaps as a result of writing each of her songs, she has taken great care to ensure that the lyrics of each song encapsulate a particular emotion or situation perfectly. The situations each of the songs stem from are eminently relateable. Don’t Worry About Me, a song addressed to her friend, is a particularly beautiful reminder of what friendship really is.
In reply to a question from WWD, Frances stated that she didn’t try to have a sound. Yet, when listening to her music, there is a unique quality to her voice that could only be Frances. Each of her growing number of songs has its own story and with it, another glimpse of life through the eyes of Frances.
Although the response to Frances’ emergence has been overwhelmingly positive, her attitude towards those who are critical or even negative, is admirable. During her live stream, posted on her Facebook page, a small handful of individuals posted some unduly negative comments, some of which were unrelated to her music. Frances embraced the critics joking that she couldn’t sing properly because she had a bad cold and even thanked one person who criticised her figure – the comment was irrelevant, this was a livestream about music! In her calm manner, these reactions made her critics look petty. She then returned to the business of replying to the more genuine comments and questions in her typically personal and endearing way.
In this respect, Frances is a rolemodel for a younger generation tormented by the presence of online ‘critics’. This comes in the form of so-called ‘friends’ or the mass media portraying images of the ‘perfect body’ and forcing everyone to believe they have to be a particular way. Perhaps embracing others’ criticisms and negativity doesn’t make it go away but it does provide a more positive perspective – the bullies and critics have no control if they are without credibility and control.
I find it difficult to choose my favourite song from Frances, three songs in particular have lyrics that fit into my life story in a particular way. But maybe my difficulty in choosing my favourite encapsulates my whole point. These aren’t meaningless lyrics set to a catchy tune, they are stories of a life that each have their own individual tale.
As 2017 draws ever closer and everybody resolves to become a better version of themselves in the coming year, the lyrics of Grow seem most apt to end this article: Grow, grow, if you never try you’ll never know.