Singer-songwriter and Croydon resident Frankmusik joins the Little Gay Brother boys this Saturday for a top deck disco DJ set alongside the Man Sushi, ZTG and the Meat Boys. Meanwhile that slab of manhunk Chris Camplin is in the basement alongside Severino and Scott Raw.
We caught up with Frankmusik ahead of the food porn themed party to find out more about his costume for the night, his new album, his top mumjams (of course) and more!
Your wiki page states Japanese noise artist Merzbow as being an influence you've cited in the past. This seems a far cry from the other artists wikipedia also lists such as E.L.O., Razorlight, Killa Kela. Is this a wiki-lie? If not how did you get into Merzbow?
It seems to be a mistake for sure. I artists I like out of Japan are Kyary Pamyu Pamyu and Perfume. But I guess someone was probably just saying my music was barely coherent noise which is kind of witty trolling so that's kind of cool.
What was it like working with RuPaul on Fly Tonight? How did you end up working together?
I ended up meeting his close friend and long time producer Lucian, who basically made the whole thing happen. Lucian wrote the track and produced it and thought it would be cool if I sang the top line. I jumped at the chance as I love Drag Race and Ru. I am an avid supporter of the LGBT community so I wanted to take this opportunity to once again stand for all that is camp and fab.
You studied fashion at Central Saint Martins and at London College Of Fashion- would you say that time has had (both in the past and now) any effect on the music you make?
I think it proved to me that university was not the only answer to finding what you wanted to do as a career. I wanted to make music but I didn’t want to study. So I went to these art schools to try and get a degree in something “creative” but I realized sometimes you just have to put all your eggs in one basket and take a big leap. In a nut shell university was a great time in showing me that university was not for me.
What's you ultimate '80s synthpop music video... talk us through it too...
Its one year off (1979) but it has to be Yellow Magic Orchestra - Rydeen. The track and video is everything. We have lasers, horse galloping samples, special 8bit graphic effects and a riff from synth heaven. We open with a swirling keyboard floating through space then cut to a arial view of the keyboard being played split with full band and 8bit graphics in the background. Then onto the galloping and keyboards swirling through space. We then cut back to single shots of the band playing outrageous synths and an early electronic drum kit that looks like its made of tin foil. The special effects build and build until we reach a crazy break down featuring toms from another universe and lasers everywhere... Oh and how could I forget the UFO that they shoot down! They are sweating and standing in very ominous positions in red suits. This video oozes style and panache. This song was covered by countless 8bit producers for years to come. Now that is cool!
What's the story behind the name of your latest album By Nicole?
Nicole is a nice name and I wanted to name an album after a woman so it worked out on this record. I thought it read quite well too “Frankmusik by Nicole”, I thought it would probably get a few people scratching their heads and it seems to have worked. 'By Nicole' was to imply that this album was created by someone else by proxy through me. We have all had a Nicole in our life and I like to keep it open ended. Once people hear the album they can take their own conclusions away with them. Although it is a person's name is is not supposed to be personal.
Dear Nicole only came out a month ago- no time to rest on your laurels? Or does the songwriting process never really end for you?
Dear Nicole was a single but the album By Nicole does not come out just yet. It will probably come out in a month or so. I am going to put one sneaky single out before the album and go from there. I like to stay busy. I am single and I am building my business. No distractions or situations holding me back. Being creative is all I want to be at all times.
You've spoken before about your mum's taste informing your early musical influences- what's your top MumJam- a track you know all the words to that you'd belt out on long car journeys?
That's easy. I Have Nothing by Whitney Houston. That track is mega.
You're from Croydon/Thornton Heath way and you still live there now... what is it about the area that makes you want to stay there, especially considering central London is not that far away?
I love being in the burbs. So many people stick their nose up at it and I’m glad because it means all the pretentious people can stay in central and I can have my grizzly suburb untouched by trendy wine bars and organic food shops. People out here are regular hard working people. Its grim at times, but it ain’t Syria. I can handle a bit of concrete and occasionally having to run away from a man with a knife in his hand. I would prefer that over getting amongst it with a bunch of people who love talking about what they are going to do instead of just doing it. I sound bitter and off, but I don’t mean to be. I suppose the positive twist I would put on it is that I like London to still feel like a place I visit rather than reside. It keeps the magic of going there for me.
You've had great support from the gay press and you've even supported on tour notable queer acts such as Erasure and the Pet Shop Boys- why do you think you have such a strong connection with the LGBT community?
Well both acts you mentioned have straight people in them too, and I suppose that's the point. Vince Clarke is straight and from what I can gather so is Chris Lowe (sorry if I am wrong on the latter, the internet is a sketchy place for info sometimes). Anyway the point is that only one half of each group was gay. That's the thing being gay really doesn’t mean a thing in music. Just like race doesn’t matter in music. I have never cared about being gay or straight and I guess when I was growing up listening to Erasure and the Pet Shop Boys I loved the fact that the music was more flamboyant and at times vulnerable than other music that could be said to be more “straight”. I think there is nothing more exciting than androgyny and the lack for care of sexuality or creed. I hate defining music by genre and that probably stems from me never wanting to put people in boxes too.
Little Gay Brother Presents Chip Butty have a food porn theme fancy dress- what will you be wearing??
I am trying to find a hamburger costume online right now!
Join Frankmusik this Saturday 15th March for Little Gay Brother at Dalston Superstore from 9pm - 4am.