"They were the songs that mean the most to me and told the stories I wanted to share" We chat with Frankie Davies
Hey Frankie, how the heck are you today?
I am doing really good thank you.
What have you been doing with your day so far?
I haven’t been doing much, just admin and driving. I feel like i’m constantly driving these days.
And where are you right now?
I am in Gatwick patiently waiting for my pasta and then for my flight back to Jersey.
Can you describe your new record in two sentences?
Wherever I Go represents who I am, as a person, performer and songwriter. With a mix of different genres it will take you through joyful and painful moments in my life.
How did you go about writing and choosing which songs to record?
Writing a song is something that I never really plan, when I get an idea or feel inspired I just reach deep down and let my feelings flow out of me and onto the page. Choosing the songs was actually relatively easy and it was a natural process, the songs I chose I have been performing at shows for the last 2-4 years and they were the songs that mean the most to me and told the stories I wanted to share.
What can you tell us about the studio you recorded in, and how that influenced the record?
We actually recorded this in about 5 different studios, 2 in Nashville and 3 back here in the UK. It was all unplanned, but I think it’s helped to create a very unique blend of Nashville and the UK, each studio brought something different to the table and I’m really pleased with how it worked out.
What can you tell me about ‘Open Road’? It’s one of my favourite songs on the record.
I’m glad, it’s one of my favourites too. I wrote ‘Open Road’ after a road trip with my partner and I was thinking about how our relationship was like the road that we were taking. We’re in control of which direction we go and most of the time we go with our gut or we’re making it up and sometimes we have no idea where we are heading but it brings us somewhere beautiful. Most importantly it is about how when it seems there is no road left to travel we can just turn around and carry on the adventure.
‘You Don’t Know Me’ is another cracking track, can you tell us what that song’s about?
‘You Don’t Know Me’ is about a lesson I learnt from being young and naive in the music industry, when you’re just learning to navigate everything and growing as an artist, then suddenly you have people telling you that they know what you want and that they know who you are. I learnt to trust my gut in those situations and I made sure every choice I made was my own, because I know myself better than anybody.
What’s the one song on the record that you really want people to hear?
I think the song I want most for people to listen to is ‘Front Row Seat’, it’s my story, what I’ve learnt and gained from my beginnings as a performer and songwriter playing to empty rooms. The main valuable lesson I learnt was that even if one person is there to listen to my music they deserve one hell of a show and I will never stop being grateful to anyone who listens.
What’s your view on the growth of country music in the UK?
It’s been amazing watching it grow over the last few years, I love that more people are discovering country music because there is so much to love about it. I hope it keeps growing!
You’ve been to Nashville, tell me about your experience there?
Nashville really is a crazy and wonderful place, every time I go I absolutely love it. I love that everybody you meet has a passion for music, music is everywhere. As a songwriter and musician I had common ground with everyone I met, that is special in itself because I don’t think that happens anywhere else in the world.
Where’s the best place to go see live music in Nashville?
That is an incredibly hard question! I don’t think there is one in particular, there are just too many good venues in Nashville.
And in the UK?
Argh why is this so hard, again there are some really lovely venues. My favourite that I have played in the UK was KOKO, it’s such a beautiful venue.
Your sound leans more to the traditional country sound than most other UK acts who tend to be pretty “pop”. Where does that influence come from?
My mum introduced me to The Dixie Chicks and Dolly Parton when I was about seven, and my love for country music grew from that point onwards.
Obviously, there’s a lot of talk about equality in general at the moment, what’s your experience of being treated differently as a woman in your industry?
I’ve had my fair share of it but mainly it’s been comments like ‘for a girl, you were actually really good’. When I would play with my all-female band, we would get those comments all the time. People surprised that we were, in fact, a very good band because our gender indicated to them that we would be inferior.
Have you noticed a difference over the last few months as #MeToo and #TimesUp gain publicity?
I have actually, I haven’t been in many situations like the above this year. It’s being talked about more and I think it is definitely headed in the right direction but still a long way to go I think.
When was the last time you were starstruck?
I don’t think I get starstruck very easily, but when I played a festival in Ireland last year with Miranda Lambert it took a lot of courage to say only say a few words.
If you could recommend one song to hear this week, what would it be?
You’ve probably heard it, but i’m obsessed. Lennon Stella - Bad.
What’s the question we should have asked you today but haven’t?
I think you just about covered it all!
Finally, how do you take your coffee?
Flat white with coconut milk.
Frankie's new album is available everywhere now. For more information visit her website, follow her on Twitter, or like her on Facebook, or check out her Instagram.
You can catch Frankie on tour on the following dates:
Nov 7th - Ruby's Lounge, St Helier, Jersey
Nov 9th - The Acorn, Penzance, UK
Nov 11th - Gullivers, Manchester, UK