Following his BBC Radio 2 Playlisted single ‘Tell Me’, London soul singer Frankie Oliver has announced a headline show at The 100 Club, London on June 7, two days before he drops his brand new album – ‘Here I Am’ out June 9th on Good Deeds Music.
“The 100 club has such prestige,” says Frankie. “It’s one of London’s legendary venues, one that I’ve always wanted to play. Unbelievably this will be my first gig in London since I opened for Ziggy Marley at the Kentish Town Forum in 1996! It feels good to back.”
“I’ve been overjoyed with the response to ‘Tell Me’. It was my first single in nearly 20 years, so to get play listed at BBC Radio 2 was incredible. Now I can’t wait for my new and old audience to hear the whole of the new album at The 100 Club.”
Showcasing impressive song writing and classic vocals, ‘Here I Am’ is a superb 12 track collection of authentically crafted soul songs written straight from the heart. “I love making music. And I love my wife and family,” Frankie says. “I just want to express how I feel about them and the world, everything rolled into one. This album is my truth.”
For Frankie, the search for that truth has brought some hard choices and long nights of soul searching. He was signed to Island Records by Trevor Wyatt in the early 90s, when he was whisked off to Jamaica to record his debut album, ‘Looking for the Twist,’ with the legendary rhythm section and production team of Sly and Robbie. “I absolutely loved all the musical side of it,” Frankie says. “I found myself working in the studio with guys like Ernest Ranglin, who played on ‘My Boy Lollipop’.” Frankie won lasting kudos with songs including ‘Give Her What She Wants’ and ‘She Lied To Me’. But the pop-star lifestyle and major-label politics did not agree with him. “I was being pulled from pillar to post. I had young kids at home and my wonderful wife was left to build everything on her own, because I was never there.”
To provide a more stable environment – and income – for himself and his family, Frankie qualified to become a black cab driver. While he mastered the intricate routes of London, Frankie also took time out to explore different musical trails, in particular digging deep into the classic blues and R&B repertoire that had mostly passed him by in his youth. Then one night two years ago his second musical life began when he was woken in the night by a melody going round in his head. He got up and started writing ‘My Kinda Woman’ at 3.30am. The track was so insistent that the very next day he enlisted the help of his friends the producer DelroyPinnock and keyboard player Sam Bergliter (Lionel Bart’s nephew) to help him record it. A minor-key song of love and desire, steeped in the soul/blues tradition of stars like Sam Cooke and Screaming Jay Hawkins, ‘My Kinda Woman’ electrified all those who heard it.
Fast forward to 2017, and Frankie is now gearing up to release a brand new 12-track studio album produced by Sam and Delroy and featuring a pool of top-flight musicians including Patrick Tenyue (trumpet), Bass Player Elroy Bailey of Black Slate, Ray Carlos (saxophone), Drummer Nik Bjerre, blues guitarist SteveHaworth and Michael Bami Rose from the Jools Holland R&B Orchestra.
“I’ve been away from the music industry, but the music never left my heart,” says Frankie. “I don’t regret my time with Island at all. They were great with me. But I had to get my life back under my control. This is a more personal thing. What people are going to get now is the real story.”
‘Here I Am’ is out 9 June. Frankie plays The 100 Club, London on June 7. Get tickets HERE.