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INTERVIEW: JW Francis

Pic by Emma Noelle

Born in Tulsa Oklahoma, raised in Paris, France, and now based in New York City, JW Francis brings a warm, affable vibe to frigid New York. The 25 year old songwriter makes ‘midnight rock,’ straight-forward bedroom pop ballads that sound like they were written late at night to a dear friend. With hints of Mac DeMarco and the Velvet Underground, his songs are mixtures of dedicated craftsmanship and heartfelt self-expression.

After putting in his time supporting other artists—running a music magazine, Rare Candy, and a recording studio, CU Records—Francis set off to make art of his own, imprinted with a genuine care for others.

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Thank you for the warm welcome. I’ve been fantastique.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Lofi”? Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

Lofi is a little tune I recorded with my good friend and producer Sahil Ansari. The song is about being good to yourself and others. What inspired Lofi was living in New York where it can be very easy to neglect yourself and others in service of your dreams.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

Yes! I just finished a little video with a genius named David Kong that we made about drinking on a couch in Paris.

Why naming the album after this track in particular?

I haven’t actually announced the title of the album that this song will appear on 🙂

How was the recording and writing process?

Recording with Sahil is magic. We always have different ideas of what a song will sound like and what we end up surprises both of us. Writing is an ongoing process for me, I rarely have time to sit down and dedicate time to one thing, so one song is usually the result of weeks of subway rides and walks and daydreams.

What role does Oklahoma play in your music?

I am an Oklahoman. It has been 13 years since I lived there but my parents, my grandparents and my great grandparents are from there, and I go back every year. I couldn’t tell you specifically how it affects my music except that my music is very personal and tends to mostly be about me and I am an Oklahoman.

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

Anything has the potential to be inspiring, but generally, specific people or places inspire me. Lofi was inspired by New York.

Any plans to hit the road? What else is happening next in JW’s world?

Yes I’ll be playing Rough Trade in NYC November 17th, Rabbithole in Tulsa, Oklahoma on November 29th, Drunken Fry in Oklahoma City on November 30th, Bitter End in NYC on December 14th, in Providence, Rhode Island December 21st, then I’m going to Europe and playing Supersonic on December 27th, And Night and Day Café in Manchester on December 28th. And sometime next year I’ll be releasing my first full length LP!

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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