Q+A: Five Minutes with Francis On My Mind
Emotive Romanian singer-songwriter Francis On My Mind recently returned with another scintillating single in ‘This Is My Time’, released on the 29th of September via Universal Music Romania. The indie-pop artist has enjoyed a steady rise to prominence, with her soul-stirring track “I’m Alright,” finding itself featured in the HBO MAX “Get MAX with Xfinity” North America TV campaign. Furthermore, her song ‘Swimming Pools’ became an integral part of the soundtrack for the American coming-of-age romantic drama television series, “The Summer I Turned Pretty,” propelling Francis On My Mind‘s music to new heights and allowing her to connect with a wider audience. With over 7.8 million streams across all platforms, she’s also performed at Showcase at Waves Festival Vienna 2022, Romanian Creative Week 2023, and Live in Club Expirat. ‘This Is My Time’ has already premiered and received support from notable tastemaker CLASH, as well as featuring in the Spotify Editorial Playlist “News Every Friday” (Новинки щоп’ятницi). We took some time out to speak to the exciting singer on all things music , life, and creativity.
Set the tone for us. Why the arts?
I’ve been singing and performing since I was 9 years old, each time I wasn’t feeling myself I found myself in music. Growing up, whenever I felt blue, you’d find me in my bedroom with a little red speaker, singing karaoke all music that was played on radio, from the likes of Adele and Alicia Keys to Celine Dion and Whitney Houston, sometimes even gospel songs.
Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea?
I always start from the idea, mainly the message I want to transmit. The sound is important as well, it inspires me to continue working on the song.
Does your material feature any collaborations?
My current single “This Is My Time” is performed by me alone, though I’ve written it together with Simeon Puukari and produced it with Raul Ojamaa and it was an amazing experience we’ve had in Tallin when writing it last spring.
What’s on your current playlist?
My current obsessions playlist include: Olivia Rodrigo’s “Logical”, Taylor Swift’s “Closure”, Men I Trust’s “Sugar”, The 1975’s “About You”, Birdy’s “Wings”. My morning ritual always includes Dean Martin’s “Everybody Loves Somebody”
Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage.
While my live perfoming experience is still developing, the most important thing on stage for me is direct eye contact with the audience and I love interacting with them between songs.
What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound?
I love listening to music from 50’s to 80’s every day and love using certain synths and instruments that I hear and are taking me back in time.
Take us through a day in the recording studio.
Usually I wake up early morning so we start off early and we start discussing my current feelings and emotions while having a coffee, helping me draw lyrics from that. Then I start ideas for toplines on an instrument only that I sometimes already have from home, done by myself on the piano. Then I start structuring the song with the verse, chorus and prechorus to link them and I usually get the chorus right from the beginning. Obviously, it’s not a recipe and sometimes things go completely different, it’s all on the mood of the moment and the interaction with whoever is in the studio.
Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “this is what I want to do”?
I’ve always know this, there was never a Plan B for me, as long as I can remember I wanted to be a perfomer. Might sound like a cliche, but this is it.
What do you keep close by while you’re playing a set?
I got a “lucky stone” from my little sister that I always carry in my purse.
Any emerging artists on your radar?
Krrysopher and Lowe are definitely worth watching.
What gets your creative juices flowing?
Music itself, I just sit in front of my piano and start playing. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s not, but never giving up.
Take us through your collection of gear, tech or software that accompanies your creative expression.
I got my own piano when I was 12 years old and learned how to play. Nowadays I am taking it with me to most of my shows.
Any side projects you’re working on?
It’s not necessarily a side project, but currently I am working on my first song in Romanian language.
How have you refined your craft since you entered the industry?
It’s constant learning from experiences, trying out new things, sounds, feelings, directions.
Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you this year?
Plenty of new music coming and an album in the works, stay tuned to my social media accounts for all news.
Famous last words?
Music Is on My Mind
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