Toronto based Francois Klark is a multi-award-winning artist and one of the most sought-after and vibrant songwriters in recent times.
With his track ‘Always’ featured as the centre- piece for the hit Netflix film, ‘Feel The Beat’, The Lowdown decided that now was a good time to sit him down in the interview chair...
A huge congratulations for your single ‘Always’ being featured in the hit Netflix film, Feel The Beat! How does it feel to have someone like Sofia Carson cover your song? "Thank you The Lowdown! It is surreal. Sofia is such a force and she is an incredible singer. I am very thankful and honoured to have her on this song."
You have recently been advocating for all artists to seek out members of the deaf community to offer sign language versions of their music. Is it strange to you that this isn’t already a thing? "It seems like there is a small group of artists that became hip to this idea long before I realized that this is an issue. However, our industry definitely still needs to ramp up providing equitable media for the d/Deaf community. "
What are your plans to get fellow musicians involved in making this change? "Releasing the official ASL version of ‘Always’ and using it as a key point of conversation in the press release was the first step. Moving forward I will continue to release Sign Language versions of my music videos and hope that this would motivate my fellow musicians to jump on board as we make this the new industry standard of releasing new music videos."
What makes a good songwriter? "Authenticity and hours of song writing."
Do you feel that your music is accessible to everyone? Or is it written with a particular audience in mind? "I do not write with a particular audience in mind. I tend to write about whatever issues I’ve been thinking about and everything that is going on in my life - this seems to resonate with people as they interpret the songs in the context of their own lives."
You were born in Cape Town and now reside in Toronto, correct? Do you try and keep up to date with both the South African and Canadian Music scenes? "I was actually not born in Cape Town. I was born in a very small town in what used to be called South West Africa, current day Namibia. I was however raised in South Africa and Cape Town is my favourite city in the world. It is tough to keep tabs on the music scenes in both Canada and South Africa. My musician friends in South Africa do however keep me up to date on what is going on in the scene down there."
Have you ever thought about writing music with a South African influence? "The diverse and vibrant art and culture of my country is a constant inspiration in my music. The song the most clearly defines this influence is the song ‘For You’ off of my debut album ‘Love’."
What is your biggest creative achievement? "I am most proud of the above mentioned song, ‘For You’. I am so grateful to all my incredibly talented friends who poured so much of themselves into making this one of the songs I hold dearest."
Is your aim to write chart topping tracks? Or to just enjoy the ride? "Topping charts has never been the goal. I have always just wanted to write good music that comes from a place of authenticity. If a song makes it onto a chart as a result, then that would be an amazing bonus."
Thanks for chatting with us! What song of yours would you recommend for those being introduced to you for the first time? "I think ‘Spaceman’ is an easy one to lure someone in with."
INTERVIEW BY ALISTER ROSS