Zukeen Interviews: nicholas Franchise

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Nick Davies is an old mate and as it turns out, a pretty talented songwriter. He’s recently put out a couple of tracks under the moniker nicholas Franchise - Sorry But I Think I’m in Love and Right Now.

Both are superb. We like them a lot. So we decided to interview the man.


Hey mate are you there?

I am here!


Are you ready for the interview?

Yeah good to go man.

Great. I remember meeting you, probably four years ago at a party in Dunedin… you were a funny Aussie guy with really long hair. You loved Tame Impala.

Haha sounds about right. Respect the Tame.

Of course. Your nickname back then was ‘The Cat’. Why?

Ah yes, The Cat. It was O-week, a little backyard cricket was happening under the sun. I took a marvellous catch that was deemed an awfully cat-like approach to collecting a ball. A downward claw of a hand-to-ball motion sealed my namesake for a short while. Others suggest cat-like tendencies in movement and behaviour, but that's all speculation.

That's quite a story. I would say you are pretty sly. So tell me Nicholas, why should I interview you?

Well there's been a lot of talk in the global music industry about nicholas Franchise and this mysterious "hit album" on the way. I don't know what kind of old pal I'd be if I didn't give the good folk at Hello Zukeen the first hot scoop on this up-and-comer. I guess it's love.

Ahhh haaa. There has been talk around town about this nicholas Franchise character. I've had your tunes on repeat. I gotta say, I love them. Hey and thanks for the hot scoop. What’s the story behind nicholas Franchise?

Aw shucks, love to hear it. Well I suppose I'd wanted to record a few rhymes for some time, but I never had the time. Ideas I'd had only existed as acoustic guitar recordings on an iphone. Post uni, I finally managed to lock myself up in Mum's shed with a few gadgets and a cheap Six60 signed drum kit from Trademe haha. After work I'd get into it, writing and recording. And now it's here for the people. Hopefully they like it.
 

So you wrote and record all the tunes?

Yep

Nice man. I guess that's a two sided coin right? Were there times where you had worked on a tune for so long that kinda got lost in it……..Actually fuck that question.


Haha.

So it was quite DIY?

I was keen to answer it, but sure. Gotcha.

OK. Answer both please.

Sure thang. There were definitely times where I got lost in a tune. Particularly the longer songs. When it's the 20th drum take and you’re like, ‘is this even the right beat for this part?’ And it's 10.30pm and you’re in your work clothes and have been going for five hours and hoping you're not waking the kids next door. It's probably time for bed at that point and put some fresh ears on it tomorrow.

But equally you get lost in it in the best way, it's the most focused and the most enjoyment you can feel and you start making new stuff you weren't intending.  When you forget to eat dinner, that's great. It was a very DIY approach, one mic on everything and see how she flys. I thought it turned out pretty crispy, better than I hoped.

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That sounds like a pretty classic artistic process- frustration and elation. Maybe it's why so many artists are crazy. It's a lot of emotion to experience by yourself in a wee shed. I thought the sound definitely has a lo-fi, garageish vibe about it. How would you describe it?
 

It's probably got the heart of Drake, with the freedom of reverberated guitars, with a bit of lightsaber thrown in a tin can, pop echo punky chill ?

Couldn't agree more. How about you describe the sound of nicholas Franchise using a colour, an Asian meal, an animal, a spice, an actor and an European country.

Now we're talking turkey. It's fruity, purple veg fried rice (hearty but light), moose, garam masala, Gene Wilder, UK m8 innit.

Of course. These questions are probably a bit pointless anyway. I'll just post the tunes in the interview and anyone who reads this can just listen to them and make up their own minds about your sound.

I think that's certainly best for any and everyone's sake

Naturally. This can be our segue into the music itself. Sorry But I Think I'm In Love, what a smitten wee track.

Oh yes, the epitome of romance that one. Love is an issue few delve into in the art sphere and someone's gotta do it.
 


The novelty never wanes, the theme is universal. The track is a real heart-melter. Is there a story behind it?

There’s definitely some cool moments behind this tune. I can't reveal all but I guess it's good when you're not looking for it. Narnian, stumble upon the wardrobe! Nice to stretch out some fruity feels in a sugar pop anthem.

Yeah man for sure. Sorry But I Think I'm in Love reminds of something someone said the other day... They said 'I'm so in love and I fucking hate it', not in a despairing way, but more of a really smitten and like a 'woah damn' kind of way.

The power of love baby YEAH.

Haha yep. A blessing and sometimes, a curse. Anyway, the tune is catchy as hell.
And then the second you've released is 'Right Now'. It's a little more subdued.

Yeah a bit darker I guess, sometimes you wonder what you're up to! Ups and downs, good ups hopefully.

 


It opens with the line, 'How pathetic, not sure what I did last Wednesday night’. It seems to be a track of lust and liquor.

Hey you're definitely salvaging a little meaning out of the complex text there haha. I mean there's that, there's also just being a bit in a daze, no direction. I think I wrote that line literally not remembering what I did the previous Wednesday. But these things do their own talking.

Yeah man for sure. Sorry if I'm getting too deep. I dig this lyric later on in the track- ‘Not sure if I like the idea of you or the idea of you against my skin…’

Thanks, that one is fairly self explanatory, hard to know what part of the brain is ticking at times.
At what point is attraction shallow.

I think there's always a shallow part of attraction. You can't forget humans are animals you know? We still have primal minds. We're hardwired to be attracted to certain things. And then of course a lot of it is lived experience….Shit this tangent could be dangerous. So what's on the cards for nicholas Franchise?

Exactly, yeah haha. Well, albums out in a minute Spotifying straight to ya dome. Another video tune too with a dank feature. Then it's time for the world tour. Just getting a set up going in USA at the mo after been seeing this crazy & beautiful country.

Bloody good. Spotify will be great for the masses. And a world tour will be great as well. I saw you're doing a lot of your mixing on the road in the States.

Yeah, been in a van for 8 weeks with me pals visiting places and faces, tough to get the mixing done but there's countless hours available on the highways for sure.

Nice man all the best. We're fizzed to hear the final product. So do you have a tentative release date?

Cheers home slice can't wait to have it heard, looking v solid on a mid late November spruce!

Yeow. Date is locked in. Any final words my man?

Just to give it all a listen and hope to be coming to a town near you soon.

Love your work man. Talk soon and enjoy the rest of your travels.

Cheers dawg, love seeing the mag happening.

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Keep in touch with nicholas Franchise here

Interview by Sam Fraser-Baxter

Sam Fraser-Baxter