James Franklin’s latest single, “Peace, Love and Freedom”, is a positive anthem in a world that needs it now more than ever.
Published exclusively for The Urban Scrapbook
If I could define my genre as “honest”, I’d be very happy.
James Franklin is not bound by any conventional genre. Instead, his creative style is inspired by what he identifies as “truthfulness”. Guided by honesty, James’ music emanates from deep within his heart.
His latest single, Peace, Love and Freedom, is a culmination of this ambition to speak to truthfulness. Inspired by the meaningful change achieved with Australia’s same-sex marriage plebiscite, James’ newest release distills his truth for a better humanity. As the movement to increase awareness (and make actual impact) in climate change grows, it is James’ view that the essential ingredients of Peace, Love and Freedom are the way forward for all of us.
Here’s what he had to say (the following has been slightly edited for readability) :
Your bio says your music is a combination of folk, rock, and soul. How would you personally describe your sound?
I have always struggled to define my sound because of the way I write. I don’t begin writing a song by thinking “let’s write a rock song”, the inspiration just comes and in 15 minutes I have a song and it’s almost like I wasn’t in the room, something else wrote the song for me. With this process, sometimes out comes a soul song or a folk song or a country song even but the common thread is truthfulness. If I could define my genre as “honest”, I’d be very happy.
I decided to be honest with myself and what I’m feeling and that’s when I started writing songs that were far deeper and more meaningful…
I love that approach. Can you delve a little bit more into your creative process? What does truthfulness mean to you?
Truthfulness means a great deal to me because it means being honest for the greater good of you and others. After I left high school a few years ago, I was so drained by my efforts to be “cool” in everyone else’s eyes that I gave up on it. I decided to be honest with myself and what I’m feeling and that’s when I started writing songs that were far deeper and more meaningful, then all of a sudden these songs were connecting with people and these people felt comfortable sharing their hardships with me, and I was having real connections everywhere I performed. So when I enter a creative space, the goal is to let the thoughts just fall out of me, honestly. Sometimes it comes out like a beautiful waterfall and sometimes the drain pipe’s been clogged for a while and you’ve got to let the gunk get out.
That is a very beautiful view. How did you get into writing music?
I was about 12 when I started writing so I’d be lying if I said it was any other reason but trying to impress girls. It took me a while to realise I could write songs about anything and not just my love of Sally’s new nose ring.
I wanted to write a song to not only applaud those people but give them an anthem to march into their next battles.
What is the story behind your latest single “Peace, Love and Freedom”?
I wrote “Peace, Love and Freedom” during the same-sex marriage plebiscite in Australia. I was so, so, so inspired by the youth who marched and made noise online. It was incredible to see the younger generation come out and fight for what they believe in and we are seeing it again now with the climate change strikes. I wanted to write a song to not only applaud those people but give them an anthem to march into their next battles.
Who and what are your creative inspirations?
Musically, at the moment it would be Jason Mraz, Prince and Irish Folk Music. Outside of music, I find inspiration from being observant. I listen to speeches at birthday parties and notice how in love friends are with each other, I see fathers and daughters playing together at the park and it inspires me to write. I feel like with so much bad news on our screens it’s important to document the good. So I take it upon myself to do so.
I want to do to people what music has always done for me, keep me going.
What are some of your dream goals in the music industry?
I want to reach as many people as possible with my music. I want to take it around the world year after year. I want to connect with people through song. I want people to use my song to mark big occasions such as weddings, birthdays and Christmas. I want to be a voice people can turn to when they feel happy or sad or confused. I want to do to people what music has always done for me, keep me going.
I really admire your goals and what you’re trying to achieve. What’s next on the more immediate horizon for you?
Well, my debut album is coming out in February 2020! But before then, the 2nd single “Ordinary Friends” is being released early January 2020. Listeners can expect the most “pop” sounding track I’ve ever released which sets up the tone for the album! We also have a bunch of tour dates to announce soon so keep an eye on my socials!