More than two years have passed since Frans won his first Swedish Grammy for Song of the Year, hit #1 in Germany, and broke the Spotify record for most streamed song within a 24-hour span back in Sweden.
The world was at Frans’ feet, still he decided to finish Senior High in his hometown, Ystad.
January will see the first taste of the music he’s been creating since then, when the single ”One Floor Down” is released.
”The song is about relaxing and staying playful and open. It’s about letting life happen”.
Frans started making music at the age of five. At seven, he featured as a guest vocalist on Elias’ hit single ”Who’s da man”, a tribute to Swedish football (soccer) star Zatan Ibrahimovic. Ten years later, Frans won the Swedish final for the Eurovision Song Contest with ”If I Were Sorry”, and ended up at fifth place in the international final.
A lot of people were impressed by the maturity and wisdom displayed by Frans. ”All I did was trying to be the best version of myself, inspired by my parents”, Frans comments.
While growing up, Frans spent a lot of time doing gymnastics and playing football (soccer). Gradually, music started taking over, and in 2016 he became Frans with the entire Swedish poulation. After the Eurovision success and the tour that followed, Frans decided to go back to school and finish his studies, while simultaneously working on new material.
”I needed time to find my identity, sound and direction”, he explains. ”It’s important to find the right texture, beat and arrangement for each song. I’ve listened to a lot of music over the years: R&B, soul, reggae, pop, hip hop, house, EDM and more. My own music is a combination of genres – a mix that’s ”me”.
Frans tends to tell stories with his music. ”I put a lot of emphasis on the lyrical content. I enjoy writing about my own feelings and actual events in my life. All of this has taken the music in various directions. The sound is often subtle, while the vocals are distinct. A combination of modern sounds and acoustic instruments, with a driving beat as a constant foundation”.
When asked about role models, he doesn’t claim to have any.
”Having a role model means looking up to everything someone does”, he offers. ”Inspiration is different thing altogether. Bob Marley’s music kept me calm as a child. Among today’s artists, I like Kendrick Lamars sense of rhythm; his ability to emphasis the beat in an unexpected, but firm way. I also like how Beyonce can hit a high-pitched note and hold it, without becoming overbearing or losing the listener’s attention However, I will be 20 years old in December, and will continue to disover more music, new and old, for the rest of my life”.
England has meant a lot to Frans.
”I’ve spent periods of time there, mainly due to the fact that many relatives on my dad’s side live there. My whole family lived in London for an entire year, in 2014. Dad only spoke English to me when I was growing up. That, combined with my year in London, where I was surrounded by slang and ethnic influences, probably affected both my music and my pronounciation”.
Frans’ voice is the constant thread that runs throgh his music. There’s no desperation in his way of expressing himself. He doesn’t bang on your door to be let in. Instead he invites you into his cool musical universe, and trusts that you’ll want to stay.
”The songs are the most important thing, but in today’s society and media saturation, it takes more than great songs to reach an audience. The artists that have managed to do that, usually have great people by their side. I have that, too”.
One example is Fredrik Andersson – manager, co-creator, and producer.
”He’s there constantly, to bounce ideas off, provide ideas, arrange and produce. We work very closely, from the initial draft to the finished song. Cardiac is like one big family where everyone supports one another. We like the old Motown way of thinking, where everyone helps each other out”.
For Frans, he sees being a writer, a recording artist and a performer as being parts of a bigger picture.
”Having ideas, recording them, honing them, and then completing them, are all stages in the creative process – and I enjoy all aspects. At the same time, everything is a kind of preparation for bringing all those emotion onstage and connecting with an audience in a live setting”.
When in writing mode, Frans tries to reach a state of thoughtfulness and reflection. On stage, he wants to let loose, and be transported.
”I believe that this is the way it works for most artists who write and record, as well as perform. You keep adjusting every detail to come as close as possible to what you want to share with the listener. When you have accomplished this, you feel safe bringing it out into the world. Performing the material live, leaving some room for the unexpected, is the greatest kick”.
”One Floor Down” will be out in January. The rest of Frans’ material is finished, and will be released when the time is right, at a pace that suits him.
At the age of 20, Frans has already had two breakthroughs. Now his real career is about to begin.