Q: Your debut EP, “Frances Baker”, is a superb mix of indie pop & neo-soul. How were you able to meld the two?
FRANCES: Both styles have influenced me a lot. I have previously made music slightly mixing the two, but it was always in a live setting. Adding all of the layers of production really let the two shine distinctly, while still blending well. I think they just melded over time, and this Ep was a good snapshot of that intersection in my life.
Q: We canʼt stop listening to “BMD”. Itʼs a fantastic opener. What was your creative process in making it?
FRANCES: Thank you! I wrote the song on guitar, then scored out the bass, piano, and drum part on a scoring software. I took the midi data from that, put it into garage band and played around with sounds. It was honestly an accident at first, I had never produced a song. I took it to my friend Sean Callahan and he helped me make it sound full and taught me about producing. His help gave me the resources to make songs like “Crazy Now”, and “Hair Turns Grey”.
Q: What is one of your favorite memories from making “Frances Baker”?
FRANCES: Sitting on the back porch of the studio/house with Courtney, Josh, and Sean. They have a big back yard, with trees throughout it and a creek on one side. The sunsets were beautiful, and the trees were loud with bats, birds and bugs. It was refreshing to sit out there with them in-between takes.
Q: Which song on the EP was the hardest to make and why?
FRANCES: “Call to You” was a bit of a mess to work on. I love the song but couldnʼt get it to feel right with my production. We tried a lot of different things. I just couldnʼt get it to sound in key, or in the pocket.
Q: Do you have a particular place where you write your music and do you have a certain process when it comes to songwriting?
FRANCES: My favorite way to write songs is to plug in a mic and guitar, crank up the reverb and just play. Play till I find chords that I like then sing over that till I say something that makes sense. If I play for a while and like it, I record with voice memo and play till the “song” is over. Then I listen back and write down what I said, and fine tune it.
Q: Who do you make music for?
FRANCES: I have always just made music. I used to always say myself, and for a while that was true. Now I want to make songs my mom would like, or that I would listen to. I still make it for myself but in a different way. I used to make music where I was just shouting at a void, now I try to make music I want to live in. Music that will invite someone else in. In short, I make music for people who need to dance, people who cry a lot, and people who like to drive with the windows down.
Interviewed by Brynn Hinnant