NAS 10 Questions with Franklin & Bell
This time, we get to know Franklin & Bell, AKA Chris Franklin = Writer/Musician/Producer. Cally Bell = Singer/Songwriter. As mature artists, their life experience informs all that they write. Songs of life, love, light, and loss, lyrical lines about life. Their music addresses a lot of social issues but they always manage to include a positive message in their lyrics.
Chris loves funk, soul, fusion, and jazz.
Cally loves musical theatre, pop, and R&B.
Between these extremes is where the music of Franklin & Bell comes to life.
The track "Give It Time" is featured in the New Artist Spotlight Family of Playlists.
Link To New Artist Spotlight Playlists:
1. Tell us a little about where you are from and what you are currently doing.
We are a Sussex-based songwriting and performing duo.
Our debut album Life Lines, released in December 2020, is an eclectic mix of soulful pop songs, funky grooves, and theatrical drama.
In 2021 we released our version of Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition”, which we reinterpreted in a more jazz fusion style.
2022 saw us releasing three singles, “We Can Fly” which was a supporting anthem for International Women’s Day. “The Weekend”, is a party dance track, featuring an American Rapper, Fiya Mayne, and “We Will Remember Them”, in support of Remembrance Sunday.
We are currently working on a pop/dance track, “Countdown” as our next single, as well as about 50 other songs we trying to get into production.
2. What inspired you to start playing and making music?
Chris Franklin. I have been a musician since I was nine years old when my aunt gave me her piano to cheer me up after my father died. I found making music a great solace and this led to a life-long love of playing and creating.
Cally Bell. I came to music late, out of a desire for something creative to outlive me. I had previously only written poems but found writing songs brought another dimension.
𝟯. Who are your biggest influences?
Chris Franklin; Dave Grusin. Ramsey Lewis. Billy Preston. Booker T Jones. Dr. John. Oscar Peterson. Ray Charles. Al Jarreau. Average White Band. Tower of Power. Earth Wind & Fire. ETC.
Cally Bell; Kate Bush, Barbara Streisand, Elton John/Bernie Taupin, John Barry. Abba.
4. What are your goals in the music industry?
Acknowledgment. Progress. World domination! Sharing our love of music and its positive effects on society.
5. Tell us about your creative process when you make new music.
We usually start with a melodic or harmonic idea and then add lyrics. We are often inspired by topical events.
6. What is your all-time favorite song?
Chris Franklin; Way of The World by Earth Wind & Fire. A perfect combination of harmonic structure and melodic line, with meaningful lyrics and a great solo section. The perfect pop song.
Cally Bell; I Will Be There By Katie Melua. A beautiful melody and lyrics with fabulous orchestral song development.
7. What is the best advice you have either given or received in terms of music?
Chris Franklin. Learn to listen and hear beyond the surface..............
Cally Bell. Break rules and try to be different, but still remain relatable.
8. Proudest accomplishment?
Chris Franklin. Way too many to mention but one of my proudest is my work teaching. A number of my students have gone on to university to study music, which makes me proud. But even with my worst students, I have been able to encourage an understanding and love for music beyond where they started.
Cally Bell. Writing the bridge to my song, SHE'S THERE, which turned out to be a complex harmonic journey to take me back to the chorus, even though I had no idea about harmonic structure.
9. Just for fun! What's been your most embarrassing moment so far?
Chris Franklin. Doing a spot on Surprise Surprise with Carol Decker.
Cally Bell. Being asked questions at Britain's Got Talent and being lost for words.
𝟭0. Tell us about your lowest and highest points in music so far.
Chris Franklin. Lowest: Losing a record deal with Sony because they had just signed another act with a similar style. The other act was Jamiroquai.
Highest: Meeting and working with Cally Bell
Cally Bell. Lowest: Not being taken seriously by my family and friends.
Highest: The first time I heard one of my musical ideas come to life.
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