Francois Klark is a Universal Music Award-winning artist who has opened for Grammy Award winner Jon Bellion, (Eminem and Rihanna's "Monster" and Justin Bieber's "Justice" album) and Canadian Pop artist Shawn Desman. After being discovered by Emmy Award-winning choreography icon, Mia Michaels, his music was prominently featured in the Netflix hit film, "Feel The Beat" leading to his song "Always" being recorded in both Spanish and English by Hollywood Records' Sofia Carson (Disney's Descendants). Francois has performed studio sessions and arranged vocals for legendary record labels including Universal Music and Decca Records. He also sang back-up on Canadian Idol and, in the same capacity, shared the stage with R&B icon Ginuwine and Canadian artist Karl Wolf. With over 15,000,000 streams on Spotify alone and an ever-growing global fanbase, the immensely talented artist is gearing up to release his brand new single "Cecilia", an uplifting feel-good ode to his childhood best friend, on Friday, May 20, 2022.
His debut single “Spaceman” garnered nearly 600,000 Spotify streams, leading to the explosive release of his debut album “Love” - a project considered to have reached considerable success in the mainstream music industry. A lifelong music student both inside and outside of the classroom, Francois focuses heavily on the sonic and audio integrity of his compositions. He has been awarded the Humber College music program's most prestigious award, the Oscar Peterson Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music, and recently signed a licensing agreement with Universal Music Group. With his sophomore album set for release later this July, Francois is truly a musical force to be reckoned with.
Klark’s euphoric coming-of-age single ‘Cecilia’ enthrals with a beautifully crafted blend of slickly addictive pop production and traditional musical tapestries reminiscent of his native South Africa. Cecilia is an exuberantly joyful and uplifting song with vivid storytelling lyrics in which Klark reminisces and celebrates the treasured moments shared with his high school best friend. From walking home from school through the sun-drenched streets of his small hometown, Potchefstroom, to getting caught in the pouring rain on a beach by the Indian Ocean. Combining the invigorating sound of rhythmic guitars and deliberately textured percussion with Klark’s lush vocal and classic glowing harmonies, “Cecilia” paints the warm colours of his fondest high school memories onto a vibrant cinematic canvas. Both strikingly relatable and heartwarming, “Cecilia” is a captivating ode to youth, its formative moments, however momentous or seemingly mundane, and the invaluable lifelong friendships it gifts us.
¨The idea for ¨Cecilia¨ came about as I was getting lost in a box filled with letters and old school film pictures of me and my high school best friend. We’ve been friends since the days of oversized surf T’s, baggy jeans, and Dawson’s Creek mix CDs, so when inspiration came knocking to write a song about the formative moments from our youth together, it seemed like the appropriate way to honour my friend and the friendship we’ve shared for so many years. I had a permanent grin on my face as all the memories slowly came back to life during the writing process, and couldn’t help jumping up and doing a little dance the first time the chorus groove in the production came together. One of my favourite elements in this song is the nod to South Africa in the guitar and background vocal parts towards the end of the tune - guitarist Heather Crawford took us in that direction during our guitar session, which in turn inspired me to lean into that world even further during the background vocal session. I had a blast making this tune - I hope it takes you back to amazing times spent with special people.¨
“Cecilia” was co-produced with Vancouver artist/producer Sean Wharton aka On Planets (Bitbird) who also played strings on the song along with Heather Crawford (Jessie Reyez) on guitar. “Cecilia” is the third single off of Francois’ upcoming sophomore album “Adventure Book” which can best be described as a wanderlust memoir that journeys through an ever-surprising world of slick pop production that dauntlessly ventures through awe-inspiring symphonic concert halls, cathedrals, and small villages.
Thank you for taking this interview! How has this Year been for you so far as an artist?
The new year has been wild :) It has been great to jump back into things and be able to be in the studio and around fellow musicians again.
Can you tell us how you’ve transformed from the beginning to now as an artist?
The biggest transformation over the years as an artist has been in the sound (production) of my tunes. As a singer-songwriter I write all my songs on the piano - This style of writing lends itself well to an acoustic sound, and that was the sound I centred the production of my earlier projects around. However, orchestral (Max Richter, Olafur Arnalds), and electronic music (Lido, Flume) have slowly shaped my sound into what it is today.
How did you come up with your latest project?
The idea for the project came about as I reminisced about trips that I’ve been on in Guatemala and Mexico. The experiences and stories from those trips birthed the concept for the album and became the perfect vehicle through which to explore themes of wanderlust, youth, relationships, and faith.
Where are you from originally?
Potchefstroom, South Africa
Where do you live now?
Do you think where you live impacts how your music is made?
Yes it does - the rich cultures that I grew up around in South Africa directly shaped my sound as an artist. Where I currently live and travel to also strongly shapes my songs because my writing is very dependent on my personal life experiences.
What was the inspiration to make music your career?
I fell in love with coming up with songs and melodies at a very young age while spending countless hours behind my grandpa’s piano. During my childhood, I also sang in as many choirs as I could. Choir exposed me to all the vibrant and diverse sounds of our beautiful nation and as a result, sparked my interest in music from around the world. My love for sitting at the piano while writing songs, and exploring music from around the world inspires me to create music to this day.
How do you want to shape your career?
My main focus is on writing and producing songs for my own projects, but in recent years I’ve started writing songs for film and television and I would like to build on that over the next few years.
Do you work on a tight timeline always or do you go with the flow when it comes to your music?
I take my time when writing songs, however, I like working with a solid deadline when it comes to the recording and production stage.
Is it hard to let go of the music when it is done?
Not at all - Once I'm happy with the music I get pretty excited about releasing it.
Do you feel an emotional attachment to your music?
Absolutely - For me, like most songwriters I know, every song is born from ideas, themes, and experiences that are directly and closely tied to strong emotions.
How would you describe your music in one word to someone who hasn't listened to it yet?
Singer-Songwriter-Alternative-Pop …hyphens make everything one word, right? :)
Where do people go to listen NOW?
Just click this link to listen to the new single ‘Cecilia’:
What has been the best fan reaction to your music?
Whenever a fan decides to choreograph a dance or record a cover of one of my songs!
Are you performing the song anywhere LIVE?
I just recently performed ‘Cecilia’ live off the floor at Desert Fish Studio in Toronto with four phenomenal musicians (Heather Crawford, Aphrose, Marla Walters, Julie Title) and we’re also releasing the video in the next couple of weeks.
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