Frankie Forman is a young London-based trip hop blues singer who’s already released two EP and is working on her first album. Even though she was writing in Spain, recording in France and shooting in Iceland this year, it’s to her hometown of Kentish Town that she always returns.
I attended two of her concerts and was struck by her soulful and sultry sound. Let’s be annoyingly honest, it’s always weird to see a little white girl with the voice of a big black girl. Amy Winehouse style.
Photo credit: Eva Pentel
Frankie is exactly the reason why I came to London. I wanted to listen to good music everywhere – at H&M, in lifts, in the street, in bars. I wanted to listen to the next big sensations before everyone else. Like my godfather who got to hangout with The Beatles and Joe Cocker at my age, when they weren’t famous yet, you know. This kind of ‘everything’s possible’ vibe. This is what I love about London – you can just walk in a bar and find Frankie Forman.
Because I selfishly wanted to get to know her, I used the ‘interview for The Flaneur’ card. It worked. I might try this with boy bands very soon. We talked about her life, her music, her influences and her London.
On top of making awesome songs that you can’t stop listening to, the all-in-black girl also makes you want to be her best friend. Absolute girl crush!
Hello Frankie, can you introduce yourself to those who don’t know you already?
Hi people that don’t know me, I’m a person in the world who writes and sings. I like fast paced lyrical melodies and big fat slow drums.
What are your main influences?
Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Billie Holliday and Portishead.
You’re working on your first album at the moment, this is exciting! Can you tell us a bit about that?
The album is out next spring and I’m going to spend an unhealthy amount of time in a dark room finding weird sounds and pressing buttons until it finds its little feet. I’m calling it ‘Kid’ because I wrote it when I was younger than I am now and recently, I’ve decided to be older.
The new songs you’ve been working on this year are much more personal. Why did you want to share more of you with your public?
It needs to get out of me in cd form, otherwise I will be carrying around tiny pieces of paper until I’m an old bag lady with pigeons for a hat. At least putting a load of crap into an art form means the whole ordeal of youth wasn’t just a waste of time.
If you could open for anyone, dead or alive, who would that be?
Nick Drake, so I could go and give him a cuddle and tell him it’s all gravy.
What is the last song you’ve listened to? Don’t cheat. Show me your phone.
Major Lazer ‘Too Original’ at the gym. That’s embarrassing…
I noticed you haven’t recorded a cover song yet. I have a few suggestions for you. Which one would you be the most inspired by? ‘Eternal Flame’ by The Bangles , ‘La Madrague’ by Brigitte Bardot or ‘Candy Shop’ by 50 Cent?
Brigitte Bardot La Madrague, so I could show off my French and do the hair.
What are your favourite places in London?
My bedroom, The Southampton arms, The Heath in winter, Soho in spring and any kind of boat on any grim canal is good.
Do you attend a lot of concerts? Where can we see the best bands performances?
I try and catch my friends bands gigs when I can, been to KoKo quite a lot this year – saw Warpaint and Milky Chance and Bones who were great. Also saw Wolf Alice twice, those guys are spot on.
Also, I’m probably not the only one to dream about being the lead-singer’s girlfriend. Where can I meet some cute bad boys?
Just do more of these interviews after 11pm.
Do you think London is the most exciting place to be a musician? Where else could you see yourself doing this job?
Well I started singing in Paris which was a happy time because I was blissfully ignorant and mas-sively distracted by the food. London probably is the best place to be a musician but you have to have a tough skin and a well paid day job. I’m going to check out New York though in May so we’ll see.
Well, I selfishly hope you’ll stay in London! Thank you Frankie.
Frankie has a residency at Ronnie Scotts, 47 Frith St, London W1D 4HT, once a month until February. I’ll see you there!
By Margot Noel