To yourself be true: GLM talks with kFrank
Recently, I had a phone conversation with Kerrion Franklin, but the name, kFrank, is how he wants you to know him. I’ve talked about his EP, The Predicate, here at GLM and wanted to know more about his style and his muse which calls L.A.M.E (Lust After My Entertainment). Currently residing in Houston, he talked with me about creating his sound and the lessons he learned about life as the eldest son of Gospel music artist, Kirk Franklin. As you’ll find out, kFrank is no company man.
GLM: How are things with you, K?
kF: Things are good. I’m working, building..building the entertainment up. I’m on my own without added income to prop me up. I’m young–just turned 23 (May 7). I’m developing the kind of artist that I want to present with The Predicate being my first project. I have a lot of things I want to present and it’s hard to narrow me down. I can bring the slow sexy jams. I can bring the club bangers. With making The Predicate, I just wanted music lovers to find at least one song that they could groove to. So I brought a little bit of everything.
GLM: How’s the Houston scene been for you compared to Dallas?
kF: Houston’s a great alternative to living in a big city, because you can find just about whatever scene you’re into here. I’ve lived in L.A. and New York, and I dig Houston. It’s that mix of Southern hospitality that you sense in the people along with being in a big, multicultural city. First time, I had Frenchy’s (Chicken), I just about died! I’d stand in line in the heat for that chicken!
GLM: You’ve mentioned in your bio your love for electronic music that got started in Los Angeles. What scene where you into while in L.A.?
kF: When I went to L.A. at 19, I played ball; I was also good at track. While I did these things in high school, I lost my love for it in college. Life comes into play and you realize that you’re not in high school anymore. I was going through I lot. I pretty much went into ghost mode. I was working at the Promenade, right off the 405 near the Santa Monica pier, and the local people introduced me to Benny Benassi and other well-known DJs. From there, I immersed myself in the dance culture and lifestyle. It’s this experience, along with my love for classic hip-hop and alternative music that fuels me.
GLM: So, what brought you back to Texas, and why are you building your music persona here instead of L.A.?
kF: Well, coming from my background, I’ve never had a completely stable environment. I’ve always been staying one place for six months, here for three weeks, then another place for six months to a year. So popping up and moving is like breathing air for me, you know? I’m 23, no kids, so it’s cool. L.A. helped me open up as a writer. I came back to Dallas to get grounded, because you can get “lost in the sauce” in L.A. with the way labels scoop you up then spit you out. If I hadn’t come back to Dallas, I’d would’ve never met the production team involved on The Predicate.
GLM: So how did that meeting come about?
kF: I have a friend who’s a dancer with Young Money and was on tour with Lil’ Wayne. I called her to catch up over lunch and she invited me to meet this producer friend of hers who was, at the time, producing a song for a girlfriend of hers. I reluctantly said I’d meet them and we drove to their studio in Denton. Honestly, I originally agreed to go because I wanted to make sure that my friend wasn’t in the wrong environment at some hole in the wall studio with some thugs. We get there and I meet Nuel & Bleu and we clicked instantly. We didn’t finish a song that night, but the vibe was there and it was right, like an unspoken connection existed already between us.
GLM: I know you’re currently working on a mixtape, which is interesting that you’re releasing that after the original work. Seems like a lot of new artists do it the other way around.
kF: I was never one to follow trends. I thought about doing a mixtape first, but it didn’t make sense to me. People need to hear me and my music and style first, then they may know what to expect from the mixtape.
GLM: Coming from a musical family, what lessons did you learn from your father about the music business.
kF: Honestly, the lessons were more about life than specific business lessons. See, for me to try to separate who I am and create an entity or image that’s not the real me..you can get lost in that. So, the biggest lesson I learned was to do music, not let music do me. Every song I write releases emotions at a certain time in my life. Everything that’s said was said on purpose for that time in my life. As of right now, I am perfectly fine with being an independent artist and not in any rush to sign with a label. Once you do, someone else holds the reins to your project and image. This is my project and other’s opinions of me really don’t matter.
I also learned that you can’t please everybody. Some people will take issue with what you do, if even because it’s me doing it. But these are my expressions at this time, as I grow as an artist. I feel chosen to be here. And for the record, I don’t have family support in my ventures. However, I’m still here working out my dreams and living my life. I want to be true to myself and I will be.