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Music Interview

Frankmusik

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Frankmusik
It's been a while since we've heard anything from Vincent Frank a.k.a Frankmusik. After whetting our appetites with his head-spinning electro-meets-indie-pop debut Complete Me and serving up some impressive remixes for the likes of Lady GaGa and Pet Shop Boys, he hopped off to LaLa land for an extended break and to commence work on his sophomore effort. Gearing up for the release of his new single 'Do it in the AM' this summer, we phoned him up to find out how said-LP is coming along.

You're in LA at the moment, what are you doing out there?
"I'm about to go get some hookah. I'm trying to quit smoking so I'm replacing it with this instead - it's a Greek, flavoured smoke thing that's a bit like sheesha. How's things in England? Are you still in the same building that I came to visit you all in a while back?"

Yes, and we still have the cardigan you left here, too.
"You're kidding! What cardigan was it? Next time I wander back your way I'll swing by and pick it up."

So, how's it going out there?
"It's going really well thanks. I moved out here with nothing, and now I've found an American record label who are fantastic - it's been an amazing journey!"

You seemed to sort of up and leave the UK...
"That's literally what I did. I don't think anyone was expecting it. Things were going pretty well in the UK and I could have kept going with it - we were going to release another single but I said no, and then I got on a flight to the US."

What happened?
"I don't think I loved the album as much as I wanted to. The way it was being handled didn't feel right and I thought there's no point carrying on with it if I wasn't enjoying it. I thought I'd get away from it all for a while and reset myself. I didn't come out here to break America or anything, and I feel recently like I've just figured everything out."

What did you figure out?
"That music is a hobby to me and I shouldn't have taken it as seriously as I was starting to. I wanted to have fun and I was starting to put too much pressure on myself. I was also being ignorant and stupid."

Are you pleased with the response to 'Do it in the AM'?
"It's ridiculous! I'm so glad I managed to add the dubstep freak out section at the end. I thought if this was going to be my first big release then I wanted to keep my original fans happy, especially as my sound has developed quite a bit from when I first started out."

You look like you're having fun with Far*East Movement in the video...
"We shot it on a shoe-string but I think we managed to make it look a million dollars! I'm so glad to have met those guys, we're on the same label and they're incredible. I don't know if you've noticed but all the acts on Cherrytree Records collaborate with each other - it's our way of keeping each other safe."

Frankmusik
How did the US record deal come about?
"My A&R in England set me up with the head of the label. Normally Island artists go to Republic records in the US, and you're shoved in the international department and wished the best of luck. I have no intention to break America, so I met with Cherrytree on a social level, and they agreed to work on my new album."

You recently released a number of free tracks on your official website. Were you giving your new sound a test run?
"I was feeling very uninspired and was trying to find my mojo again. I tried strip clubs, drinking, getting my heart broken, but - and this is going to sound obnoxious - I genuinely just want to make music for my fans. I used to love seeing my play counts going up on MySpace and the comments people made, so I put up music I was working to get real people's opinions on it. None of it will feature on my album, I was just mucking about and being a bit rebellious. The songs on the album don't really sound anything like those tracks."

Is the album finished then?
"It was, but then I decided it wasn't and the label thankfully agreed to let me work on it for a bit longer. I've just written a song called 'The Anti-Hero' which I'll hopefully be able to complete in time. It's a real array and selection of experiences that don't really add up to anything significant, but instead show what I've been doing. I have to get the album done in the next few days though or I'm in trouble."

How would you describe its sound?
"It sounds less 'London' and more global - and by that I don't mean American! In fact, there's quite a European sound on a lot of the tracks. The songs are more concise but less personal about a specific thing. This record is still dark like my last one, but I think it's a lot stronger - I've finessed things a bit more. I'm adding some insane production to some of the songs this week, but there will be less of that than there was before."

Are there any other collaborations on the album?
"There's one with Natalia Kills called 'No Champagne' - it goes: 'No champagne can take away my pain.' It sounds a bit like a Timbaland track from three years ago with some weird production moments. There's another with Colette Carr called 'No I.D' which looks like it's going to be the next single. She's a crazy chick from Malibu. I'm also going to call up Ellie Goulding and see if she wants to do something on one of the tracks."

You've done remixes for Pet Shop Boys and Lady GaGa, are you working on any at the moment?
"I've been really busy on that front! I've done stuff for Nelly Furtado, Nicole Scherzinger... I'm producing songs for a Nickelodeon artist called Keke Palmer too. It's very American, but definitely worth checking out."

The X Factor USA is kicking off in the States at the moment, what do you make of the judging panel?
"I think it's great! Simon is a fantastic businessman - it's creative capitalism in action. He's found a great market to tap into, though I'm not quite sure how it's going to be different from American Idol - maybe they'll give a reality show/Big Brother-type twist to heighten the drama? On the flip side, these shows don't help the industry at all - they're completely separate from it. It's a dangerous world, and very few make it out successfully. That said, if you choose to put yourself in that system, you've got to be prepared to fall as fast as you rise."

Frankmusik releases 'Do it in the AM' on July 18. The album of the same name follows later this year.

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