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Franko Fraize Interview

March 29, 2010

Thanks for taking the time to do this interview. First off can you tell us what part of the UK you from and how you started out as an artist?

My name is Franko Fraize. Im a rapper based in Thetford in East Anglia. I started rapping back in 2005. Basically I got into UK rap and used to listen to DJ Excalibah ‘Tales From The Legend’ show on 1xtra. I was well drawn to the whole UK vibe of things. Hearing people spit about things I knew about. I started writing bars on the side and never really took it too seriously. In September 2006 I recorded my first three tracks. A grime track and 2 rap tracks. They were all based on my town and what was going on there. I put them up on Myspace and got bare hits and bare interest. People liked what I was doing and related to what I was saying even though I was aiming it at my town it had a wider appeal. From this I entered a competition on BBC radio1xtra on the Rodney P And Skitz show. This proved to be massive for me as I got into the finals and was in the studio rapping to people like Ras Kwame, DJ Semtex, Rodney P and Skitz. It was massive. Since then things are going from strength to strength with collaborations, radio play, shows etc.

What have you released to date and what would you say was your biggest acheivement in Hip-Hip was?

I have only really released one thing officially which is an EP featuring Lyrical T and myself called ‘Something In the Making’. The EP was put out on an independent label started by me and my cousin Sonny called ‘Hoodlem’. It featured production mainly from DJ IC but also R3eds and Dillijence. The EP is getting real good reviews and tracks from the EP are getting radio play. Its done a lot for us. This is something I’m really proud of to be honest. Im proud to have put out an EP from scratch and done it all independently and proud of the response it got. Also to see it in suspect packages was a massive look for me. I’d have to say that and being on 1xtra have been the real highlights but there has been so many others that its hard to call. Especially sharing a stage with the artists who inspired me in the first place.

Okay, let’s talk about your new project. Who produced it and what guests are involved?

The next project Im working on is going to be a free download. Im doing this because I have a physical release now and I want some good music I can give straight to the people. Also it being free is like a thank you to everyone who has been supporting the EP. So far I have recorded tracks with people like Jabba Tha Kutt, DJ IC, Tricksta, Tbone, Fred and few others. Im still plotting how im gonna go about releasing it tho. Im thinking maybe dropping two Eps thru the year. Still uncertain at the moment tho.

When did you start making this new project?

Me and DJ IC started late last year but since then a few more people have gave me beats that im really feeling and other things have happened like links and stuff. Im just planning to record about 20 tracks by the summer time then decide from there where top take it.

When is it released and where is the best place to buy it from?

Again im unsure when it will be ready but by August I will defiantly have put something up for download. I have currently been putting tracks on Soundcloud and been getting a real good response www.soundcloud.com/frankofraize. I’m thinking ill probably stick this next thing up for free on bandcamp or one of them sendspace type sites. The details will all be availible on facebook or at www.frankofraize.blogspot.com. Ill be updating them as and when things happen.

What formats will it be released on?

Free download. Then ill be plotting my next physical solo release hopefully for next year.

Do you think CD’s will become extinct soon because of the MP3? How do you feel about this as an artist?

I don’t think they will become totally extinct. I think that side of it will take a dip like viynl has. However I still feel there is an audience that want to buy the physical product. I personally buy loads of CDs. I like to have my collection of CDs. Its something ive grown up with and will continue to do. Mp3s have taken off like never before and I think even free download releases are a bit of the wrong way to go. In this current climate it’s the best way to get your music out there quickly and people will always take something for free. The downside of it is that artists are putting out content for free that could potentially be classic releases. Imagine if Klash made sagas now and just threw it up for download as that’s the current way. It would be a classic missed out on. Obviously it all has pros and cons we just got to try make the best of the current climate we are in.

For those that don’t know what record label are you currently on and who are your label-mates?

Im representing ‘Hoodlem’. We are an independent Thetford based label. The main people on the team are Sonny, Myself, Lyrical T, DJ IC, Happy, Shadow, Trackz and K dot T. I also roll closely with the Chronicredeye movement aka Souljahsoulz. Reds and DPF are defiantly part of the team.

Can you give us all your relevant website links please?

Facebook – Franko Fraize
www.myspace.com/frankofraize
www.hoodlem.bigcartel.com
www.soundcloud.com/frankofraize
www.frankofraize.blogspot.com

Before you go is there anything you would like to add or say?

Yeah basically as a UK artist we need to remember we came from an underground scene and really are all part of an underground scene. Some people are gaining chart success at the moment and people are changing their sound a little to suit the masses. I have no problem with this as people can do as they please and if they want money and want to do what they can to get it then fair play. However lets not fall into the trap where we all slate them and believe that these people are ruining the UK rap scene. Some people moan and say that there are more talented artists who deserve recognition. This is true and always has been true but there is no need to be bitter. We have always been a scene that people only follow once they are involved so lets let the more commercial artists bring the young ens into our world.

Also lets not let uk rap fall into a golden age already. People look at UK rap in the early 00s as being the golden age and no one has really come thru in a major way to keep the fire burning. Other artists have broke thru but no one really has received the same support as the origionals like Skinny, Klash, Taskforce and Jehst. People are more likely to look for an old taskforce track than support someone who could become that new taskforce. I dont mean to sound off but people just seem to want to remember the early days rather then keep them going.

Anyway rant over really. I love the UK. I love uk rap. I love grime hip hop the lot. Im just a passionate man who wants to see the scene go from strength to strength. Lets keep supporting. Also lets keep buying from www.suspect-packages.com

Bless.

Interview by Tony Mitchell

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