INTERVIEW Frances speaks ahead of her Birmingham gig

Photo: J Foxton
Photo: J Foxton

Ahead of Frances’ gig at the O2 Institute, I caught up with the singer/songwriter to talk all about the release of her new album and life on the road.

After being listed in the BBC’s Sound of 2016 and shortlisted for the Brits Critics’ Choice Award, singer/songwriter Frances has won over the hearts of the country with her soulful, calming music. Last month saw the release of her latest album Things I’ve Never Said, and now she’s in the midst of a tour that will see her take to the stage of the O2 Institute this Friday.

“I love Birmingham. I used to play a lot of venues in the city that were my first shows. I can’t wait to go back,” she says. And her fans are excited to see her, the tour will be the first time that Frances has performed since the release of the album, which has been a long time in the making. A keen songwriter and musician from a young age, Frances tells me she has been penning tracks for Things I’ve Never Said since she was 18.

“I feel like I’ve been working on it for so long,” she says on releasing the album. “I didn’t feel as if I was writing an album, I was just writing songs every day and enjoying that. When it came to shortlisting the songs it was really difficult because I’d wrote so much. There were a couple of songs that just stood out to me more than others that made the album,” she adds.

Frances has quickly won over the hearts of the UK and Europe with her stunning singles Grow and Say it Again. And, at 23 she’s already found herself being compared to one of the biggest female artists around, Adele.

Frances performing at Coachella 2016

I ask Frances whether she feels any pressure about being compared to the chart-topping artist. Her career is still in its early stages, and she’s already proved her worth having being recognised by both BBC Music and the Brits.

“I feel like some of Adele is so far into her own league and she’s kind of untouchable, she’s amazing,” she says. “It’s hugely flattering to me to be compared to her, I love her music so much.

“Her first album came out when I was 16 and I listened to it when I walked to school, I listened to it every day,” she continues. I admire that album so much, and I think that’s because Adele’s that artist that jumped right in making albums and did it amazingly well. She wasn’t dancing or wearing fancy clothes and it made me think ‘oh, ok I could be an artist’.”

2016 is already proving to be an incredible year for Frances, alongside the release of the album she was also part of the 50 Shades Darker soundtrack alongside Sia, Tove Lo, Zayn and Taylor Swift, where she penned the track What is Love. “It was an amazing experience,” she beams. “I got a call asking if I’d like to try and write something, which I did, and luckily they liked it.”

The rest of the year is also looking rather busy for Frances. After completing her dates in the UK she’ll be jetting off to Europe. She’s no stranger to festivals either, last year she performed a surprise set on the BBC Introducing Stage at Glastonbury Festival, and she’s keen to make a return to Worthy Farm in the future. For now, though her focus remains on her tour, and spreading her music far and wide with anyone who wants to listen.

She may be fairly new to the music scene, but if Things I’ve Never Said is anything to go by, Frances is in for one amazing career.

Fancy seeing Frances at O2 Institute this Friday?

Get your tickets here!