Franko Fraize looks ahead after year of The Libertines, Professor Green, Zane Lowe and Soccer AM
PUBLISHED: 13:36 02 January 2015 | UPDATED: 13:45 02 January 2015
A musician from Thetford is looking to the future after a superb 2014 which saw him play Wembley Arena and Hyde Park, and get air time on Radio 1 and national television.
Franko Fraize’s year has seen him brush shoulders with pop and indie royalty, play world famous venues and have his music beamed into the homes of millions of people.
Highlights include supporting The Libertines at Hyde Park, playing with Professor Green at Wembley and having his songs featured on Soccer AM, the Radio 1 daytime playlist, and being used by the football club he supports, Queens Park Rangers, in a club video.
The icing on the cake came in November when the former Charles Burrell High School student had his song, Underdog, played by indie taste-maker Zane Lowe on his Radio 1 show.
He admitted it had been a whirlwind of a year.
“Everything this year has been mad. The music has been so well received and it’s started to open the right doors for us.
“Playing those live shows was really surreal, especially Hyde Park. I pulled up to the trailer with my name on it and next to The Rifles, who I really like, and I was buzzing. It’s just been a great year,” he said.
He puts his success down to the “authenticity” of his sound, which focuses on the day to day struggles of what he calls “normal, working people”.
“My whole thing from the word go was to talk about things which are actually happening to me because I think people relate to that.
“There are a lot of people in places like Thetford who are hard working, normal people, who just want to earn a pound note, but it’s tough sometimes,” he said.
The videos for his tracks, produced by local director Tom Cronin, have also been a success, with thousands of hits on Youtube and TV play on several satellite channels.
His homegrown ethos again influences the videos, which have all been filmed in Thetford and feature friends and family.
He admits his biggest ambition is to be signed by a record label, a dream he’s had since starting out in the business.
But he adds that it will not influence the way he works.
“The longer I do this, the more I realise it’s about working hard, but not trying to force things.
“There are times you get jaded and you don’t write anything for a couple of weeks, but the key is to let things go.
“I’ll still keep writing about the same things too because that’s what’s got me here, so I’m sticking with it,” he said.
Franko, aka Frankie Dean, used to work full-time for BT in Norwich. His soundcloud profile reads: “I’m a man from a small town in England called Thetford. I make music mostly about my small town in England called Thetford.”
He has a new single, Party, coming out soon.