Abergavenny singer-songwriter Frankie Wesson continues to share a notion of cinematic songs that draw from an emotional variety of personal experiences.
With a host of original songs featured on the likes of BBC Radio 6 and BBC Introducing, as well as Spotify’s ‘Chilled Pop Hits’ and ‘New Music Friday’ playlists, Frankie has swiftly caught the attention of listeners across the globe.
Now, this gifted musician has released the brand-new single “Just Friends” & has kindly taken the time to speak with Fierce & Fabulous Revolution regarding the single. Check out the full interview below.
Hey Frankie, thank you so much for this interview. Can you start by telling the readers a little bit about yourself?
Frankie: Hi everyone! My Name is Frankie Wesson I’m a queer singer-songwriter from Abergavenny in South Wales. I started writing songs and performing when I was 16.
When did you first discover your passion for music?
Frankie: I don’t think my passion for music is something I ever really discovered it’s just always been there. Mostly when I was growing up it was listening to music in the car with my parents. If it was mum’s car it was Van Morrison and Bruce Springsteen but dad’s car was almost exclusively Classic Rock or Blues and Soul, with some Eva Cassidy thrown in there for good measure. My dad used to play guitar in a band so there were always guitars around the house. When I was 8 he gave me a ¾ size classical guitar, showed me a few chords and told me to go play it. Then UltimateGuitar.com took care of the rest haha.
Have you always wanted to pursue a career within the music industry?
Frankie: I’ve always just wanted to play music and write my songs, its one of the only things I know I’m good at and I can do well. I’ve never really wanted to do anything else. I think for a while I didn’t realise a career in the music industry was a possibility unless you were a huge name, but the way the industry is going it’s so much better and easier now for small independent artists to release their music to the world and find their audience.
How would you currently describe your musical style?
Frankie: My songs have a pop/folk/rock feel and draw inspiration from my personal experiences of bitter-sweet nostalgia, unrequited love, teenage angst and the complicated reality of growing up LGBT. I grew up listening to artists like Alanis Morisette, Eva Cassidy and Stevie Nicks. I also take inspiration from a mix of contemporary artists such as Deaf Havana, Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift, Gabrielle Aplin and MUNA.
So I guess I’m somewhere in the realm of those artists sound-wise. I’m a singer-songwriter first and foremost. All my songs begin with me and my guitar and then morph into their current form with the help of my good friend and bandmate Ruby Ravelle and my wonderful producer Ryan Jordan at AR Studios in Herefordshire who also plays the drums on my songs.
You recently released the brand new single “Just Friends”. How did the idea for this song come together?
Frankie: ‘Just Friends’ came about by listening to some of my favourite songwriters James Veck-Gilodi from Deaf Havana and especially Katie Gavin from the band MUNA. I’ve always admired how they are so brutally honest in their songwriting and articulate their pain in such a beautiful and meaningful way. ‘Just Friends’ is me trying to dig into that honesty in my own songwriting and write about a subject that has brought me a lot of pain and heartache throughout the years – unrequited love. Especially from the point of view of myself as a bisexual having had feelings for a straight best friend who would never feel the same way about me and the journey that that love/pain relationship takes you on.
Did you always plan to release “Just Friends” as a single?
Frankie: ‘Just Friends’ was always going to be my first new single after my previous album ‘Still Got Time’ which I released in 2019. I actually recorded this song in 2019 after I finished the album but due to covid shutting, everything down the release of this single had to be pushed back.
What does the song mean to you?
Frankie: ‘Just Friends’ means a lot to me as I think it shows a huge growth in my songwriting and vulnerability as a songwriter. It’s also a song I think I wouldn’t have had the self-awareness of my feelings and emotions to write years ago. When I was a teenager, I didn’t understand why I would have feelings for some of my female friends, because I knew that I wasn’t gay. I didn’t have the knowledge of, or vocabulary to, come to terms with or express my bisexuality. It was a really tortuous and confusing time as I know it is for a lot of young queer people trying to discover who they are.
I’m really enjoying growing up, learning more about myself and gaining a widened perspective on past situations. It’s bringing me more peace and understanding towards myself and other people. ‘Just Friends’ is another big step in that direction for me but it’s also been amazing to hear other queer people’s responses to the song and how they feel seen and heard through this song.
If listeners could take anything from this song, what would you like it to be?
Frankie: If listeners could take anything from this song, I think it should be some comfort in feeling that they aren’t alone in their feelings and maybe it can help them feel better in what is a pretty shitty experience to be going through. Also, I know this description sounds really sad and deep but it’s actually quite an upbeat, happy-sounding song so you can always jam along to it when you’re feeling good too!
What advice would you offer to someone who was looking to pursue a career within the music industry?
Frankie: I don’t really feel qualified to advise people on getting into the music industry, but if you want to make your own music and release it to the world, you’re in luck because there are so many platforms out there. YouTube, Spotify, Tik Tok, Facebook, Instagram, BBC Introducing and many more, are all amazing tools for getting your music to an audience. Plus with affordable music publishing and distribution websites online, you really can do it all yourself if you have the time and the drive.
I would say a huge thing is getting involved in your local music scene. Open mics, local gigs/festivals/venues/bands/radio stations have all been really supportive of me and my music and have led to some great opportunities. Go out and meet people, perform live as much as you can. Make friends who share your love of music and create yourself a little network of contacts and talented people who you can work with and call on to support you and vis versa.
Finally, is there a message that you would like to share with the readers of Fierce & Fabulous Revolution?
Frankie: I’d like to say a huge thank you to Fierce and Fabulous Revolution for taking the time to listen to ‘Just Friends’ and for this interview. As an independent artist I really appreciate your support of musicians like me and exposure to your audience. And to those reading this, thank you and I hope you like the song! There’s a brand new music video for it out now on my YouTube Channel – Frankie Wesson. Check it out! It was filmed at Kahve Café Bar in my hometown of Abergavenny. Directed and edited by the multi-talented Honey McKenna. I starred in it with some of my best friends, we all had a lot of fun making it and it’s really cute and funny I hope you enjoy it. Thank you!
You can check out the official video for “Just Friends” below or on Spotify here.