FYIG recently had the chance to chat with music artist Francois Klark about his new single Run. Learn more about how Francois got into the music industry and his new single inside!
Tell us a little bit about yourself for readers that are just discovering you for the first time.
I’m a small town South African choir boy, graphic design drop out, Humber College music graduate who now calls Toronto home. I spend most of my time on mountains, anywhere that is close to trees and large bodies of water (very thankful for Lake Ontario), and behind my baby grand piano writing songs. I’m a massive science fiction fan, which might explain my love for using big synths and vocoder. I’m also a romantic, so recording music with just raw vocals, piano and a string section makes me very happy.
How did you get your start in music?
Music is closely tied to family for me. I remember music being part of our household for as long as I can remember. It was just another way of living everyday life. It was light-hearted, silly, beautiful – it was something we did together in our house. We could jump behind the piano anytime. Music was in the church pews as we would harmonize with my mom, it was at school in the choir, it was at barbecues with friends – it was everywhere.
The turning point for me came during my 2nd year of Graphic Design studies at the University in my hometown, Potchefstroom. I entered a song into the University’s songwriting competition. The winner got the opportunity to perform their song in the Sanlam Auditorium in front of nearly 1000 people. My song was selected as that year’s best original composition, which in turn meant that, well…somewhere I had to get the courage to play that big venue. Up until that point I have never sung in front of such a large audience and only ever played piano in front of my parents and siblings. I suffered from a fair bit of stage fright for most of my life, but somehow had the courage to step out on the stage by myself & play the song that night. The performance went well and I believe that that was the pivotal moment that changed the course of my life and that has led me to where I am today.
How would you describe your musical style?
I like writing songs with a strong narrative told in language that paints a pretty vivid image. I treat each song like a little short film that generally plays out in either an epic soundscape or a very intimate space. I like marrying live band, orchestral instrumentation, and electronic elements. If I had to pick a genre: Alternative Pop.
Your first single Spaceman has garnered over 200K streams. What was it like to see your first single have such success?
I had no idea what the public’s reaction would be to the song. I personally enjoyed the creation process a lot. I am very thankful that the song resonates with people. I can only hope that people will keep discovering the music, that they will enjoy listening to it and, most of all, that it will be meaningful to them in some way.
You recently released a new single called Run. Tell us a little bit about that song.
My obsession with the stars, space and the sky, previously explored in my debut single ‘Spaceman’, once again served as my muse – this time leading to the creation of my sophomore single ‘Run’. I was staring up at the moon one afternoon as it hung ghostly pale against the piercing blue sky, my mind transfixed on the fact that it merely reflects the light of the sun with a cold, far lesser shine than it’s light source. I was mesmerized by its beauty as it so convincingly tried to fool me into believing the illusion that it produces light itself. This made me think of the moon as the sun’s lover, a lover that only takes love (light), deceitfully pretends to love back, but the love is, in fact, a mere imitation of love – a poor reflection. In the song, I liken the love of this lover to things that aren’t real, physical, or are just mere illusions (a ghost, a mirage in the desert, a shadow), and realize the importance of getting as far away from it, as fast as possible.
The video for Run was directed by Yeah!Films. What was it like working with them and how much more impactful is the song with the visuals that accompany it?
I’ve known Miguel Barbosa (Yeah!Films) for quite some time now. He was also the director of the lyric video that we shot for ‘Spaceman’. It is always a pleasure to work on creative projects with him and his team.
The music video plays an integral part in completing the journey that starts with the song.
It gave me the opportunity to expand on the theme explored in ‘Run’ by telling the story of a lover in a relationship similar to the relationship between the sun and moon described above. It was important for me to not only explore the more painful side of love and relationships but also to challenge the viewer to evaluate how they perceive the validity of another person’s feelings and emotions. It is my opinion that we often discredit the validity of the emotions & feelings of those we can’t relate with or whose lifestyles we don’t agree with. I, therefore, chose to portray a couple in a relationship that isn’t widely viewed as normal by the majority of society. I want to impress on the viewer that we are all part of the same human experience – The love and heartbreak that you experience is no different, no less real than someone who is different from you.
Do you have any shows coming up?
March 6th at the Opera House in Toronto.
What advice do you have for aspiring music artists?
Write all the time.
Surround yourself with truly genuine and good people.
Make true friends, not contacts.
Don’t follow trends – trends will pass by the time you’re ready to release your music. Be true to what comes naturally to you.
Find a purpose for your music – it wasn’t given to you to serve you.
Let the readers know where to find you online.