Everybody Dance’ from the legendary Chic – is part of the fabric and the heartbeat of our lives, since the hazy days of Studio 54 and the global disco scene. It’s been remixed and bootlegged many times since its origin, and now it’s just been reworked by a young producer.
Franklin who is 23 from the UK has collaborated with the already highly esteemed producer Cedric Gervais & the legend himself, original creator the amazing Nile Rogers, for an official release of this historic dancefloor classic. Neal McClelland caught up with Franklin recently.
A superb 2021 version of this track Franklin, but how on earth did it happen?
F: My parents have always been massive Chic, Nile Rogers and Disco fans. So I always heard it as a child. I actually heard the song being played at a swimming pool I was working at for a fitness thing, I heard the bassline dropping on the speakers, and you know what’s coming. I went back home, found a really rough acapella of it online and then just went from there.
I’m assuming the track was created remotely due to Covid restrictions?
F: Yeah it was remote, which was a shame, but I’m not complaining (Laughs)
What was it like to work with the worlds’ most prolific and highly esteemed producers Nile Rogers & Cedric Gervais?
F: Actually really straight forward and very easy going, apart from me being starstruck the whole time. We sent the song initially to Nile Rogers and his team to say ‘hope you like it’ and ‘give us your blessings’. They got back and said ‘He Loves it’ and then literally within a week Nile had the guitar parts prerecorded back to us with a few tweaks and ideas he had of his own.
This is the guy that’s produced, written and collaborated with some of the greatest musical minds of our time, Duran Duran, Madonna, David Bowie…shall I continue. How does it feel to be part of that? Do you comprehend the enormity of it?
F: Yes! Nerve-wracking! But my mum said to me ‘if everything else you do in music just flops and fails, it doesn’t even matter because you’ve done a song with an actual legend’ I know the word ‘legend’ gets used a lot, but he is an actual legend. It’s the dream.
Working alongside Cedric Gervais, the highly prestigious electronic producer, how did you manage to do that?
F: So I had my idea, and Cedric had a really similar idea, same vocal, the same production. A person that we know mutually said, ‘Oh my god this is great, it makes sense to put you two together’.
We chatted and agreed to put a version out together. Cedric is also in the USA; it was terrific to work with him. The time difference was a bit annoying, but we got through it, and it made lockdown work pretty good.
Let’s talk about how Covid has effected you.
F: When I lived in London, my flatmates had to leave, I had to do the same and go back to my parent’s house. It is what it is. We had ‘lockdown 1’ to produce ‘Everybody Dance’ so it was ok. I get to do what I want, and everyone around me is safe and healthy.
How long did it take to produce ‘Everybody Dance?’
F: Probably a year and a bit? I left it for a while, then started it again around March or April last year. Niles parts arrived about August, and then it was ready.
So there is a 13-year-old Franklin in 2021 messing around with music production on his computer, he doesn’t really know what he is doing. What’s your advice to him?
F: I still feel like him! I was actually 14 when I got my first music software. I remember feeling really able to do what I wanted to do. If you are at that infant stage play around with stuff and when you are ready to make a track listen to your inspirations and how they structure the song Intro, verse, chorus drop and literally keep going at it.
I tried to replicate Avicii at 15 continually! If you really love it, you’ll keep on producing and at first, it will sound really pants, BUT you have to start somewhere. Keep going and going, and hopefully, you’ll eventually get amazing opportunities.
You’ve worked with some massive names already including Mabel etc., who do you have in your sights to work with up and coming?
F: I’m doing two remixes for some really cool names, current names, I can’t say who just yet though. But id say in the next 6-8 weeks I’ll have something out for some very cool artists.
Top 3 Artists you’d love to work with?
F: Calvin Harris, Has to be lol! Martin Garrix – Seeing someone the same age as me absolutely crushing it and being a role model, has to be one for just that. For collaborations, probably someone like Georgia Smith but I’ve no idea what we would do lol.
What’s going to happen for the rest of 2021 for you?
F: A lot depends on Covid. For now, release more music. We’re getting a follow up to ‘Everybody Dance’ finalised soon so that’s exciting and I’m working on a project with two of my best friends. Ideally, if by some miracle the summer went back to normality, maybe get to a show or a festival, to be there would be amazing, and secondly hopefully to play. I guess that’s as much as we can ask for.
I don’t know about you, but I’ll never leave a club, VIP or green room early ever again when we get back to it!
F: I never left them early! Now it’s a complete ‘no brainer’. It will be an amazing feeling when we get there again.
Franklin in 10 years….where is he?
F: Me at 33, Wow! I want to think I could look back and have been to amazing places, travel the world, make music and playing music and ideally have a couple of big songs in the bag.
So in a perfect world, the lockdown has gone, and we are back to normality, where are you and what’s the track you want to hear?
F: Cafe Mambo, Ibiza, sun going down and a DJ playing Daft Punk ‘One More Time’ Can you imagine it? (He smiles)
I certainly can. The future is very, very bright for this young producer who is making major waves globally. Franklin literally has the world at his feet and is already touching it through his cool, positive production style. Well done, Franklin!