Interview / Francesca Luker

Francesca Luker

Congratulations on your upcoming single ‘Sunshine’! Could you tell us about the inspiration behind this song and what listeners can expect from it?

At the time I wrote Sunshine, I was listening to a lot of 90s hip-hop- This inspired a new songwriting process for me, as I was captivated by the looped, jazzy riffs you often hear in this genre. So instead of starting my song with a set of chords like I usually do, I played around on the piano and came up with my own 90s hip-hop influenced riff, which I then used as the basis for Sunshine- The chords and rhythms for this were particularly inspired by one of my favourite tracks from this genre- ‘Spend a Little Doe’ by Lil’ Kim. 

I would describe Sunshine as a melancholy, but uplifting blend of R&B, soul and pop, with the choruses capturing a sense of euphoria through emotive vocals and vibrant chord progressions.

Your previous single, ‘Promise Land,’ has received a great response from your fans. Can you share with us the creative process behind the song and any personal connections you have to its message?

In terms of creative process- Promise Land began as a simple bass-line which I wrote on my keyboard. I then composed a chord progression based on this, before adding electronic drums and improvising dance style vocals over the top. For a long time I had the recording of just one verse sitting on my laptop, and I had a bit of writer’s block when it came to writing the rest of the song. 

About a year later in a rehearsal with my band, I revived this verse idea, and together we came up with a chorus chord progression, over which I sang with the main vocal melody containing the title lyrics ‘Promise Land’. My guitarist at the time and good friend Alex Oldknow, then added his funk inspired guitar riffs throughout the song, giving it a unique energy and warmth.

Lyrically, ‘Promise Land’ encapsulates the very true cliche that hard times do always come to an end. It’s all about adopting a half-glass-full attitude to life, embracing change and making positive steps towards your future.

How do you decide on the direction for each new single, and what drives you?

This is difficult, because I don’t think the direction for my new songs is ever a decision as such. Songs tend to flow out of me unpredictably- It is rare that I begin my writing process with a clear intention for how it’s going to sound. I tend to just sit at the piano and experiment with chords, rhythms and melodies, and whatever mood I’m in, or whatever music I’m particularly inspired by at the time will determine the vibe of what I write that day.

I’m driven by my overwhelming passion for writing music. With a creative and overactive mind, I find I have a constant plethora of song ideas on the go at a time, as well as many finished songs from over the years. I’m proud of a lot of my music both old and new, and I’m driven to keep on recording my art to release to the world!

Your new single ‘Sunshine’ is set to release on September 1st. Could you give us a glimpse into the emotions and themes you wanted to convey through this song?

I wrote Sunshine about struggling to find my place in the world, and taking a long time and a lot of personal growth to feel comfortable with myself and valued by the people around me. It captures my happiness and gratitude for the amazing people in my life, despite it not having been the easiest ride to find them.

Music has the power to evoke emotions and connect people. How do you hope your new single ‘Sunshine’ will resonate with your audience, and what message or feeling do you want them to take away from it?”

Sunshine’s message will definitely be relatable to a lot of people at different stages in life. It’s about the journey to finding your people, accepting who you are and surrounding yourself with positive, supportive friends who bring you happiness and lift you up, whilst letting go of people and attitudes that bring you down.

It’s also about learning to back yourself and not let rejections or set-backs lower your self esteem, but to instead use them as fuel to persevere.