6 Questions With Robert Francis
Welcome to “6 Questions With…,” a series of interviews with emerging artists, musicians, and bands focusing on the music scene and how they live within it. It started as a quick, fun project, but has quickly gained serious interest, so it has become a permanent fixture here on Indie Minded. Over time, the questions may change, but the sentiment will stay the same. This is a way for independent artists to be discovered by new fans on a global scale.
Within in each post, you will find all of their social media links, and also either a link to their music, or the ability to stream at least one of their tracks or videos, depending on the availability.
We hope you enjoy this series, and if you know anyone that might be interested in being part of it, please have them reach out to us for more information.
Next in the hot seat is Los Angeles-based folk-roots rock singer Robert Francis. We have not had the privilege of featuring Robert Francis here on the pages of Indie Minded, so we are thrilled to bring you this short interview. Sit back and enjoy! This is what is great about this series – the discovery of new music.
For those who may not be familiar, please tell us about your music: the type of music you play, where you are from, and how you got started?
I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. I dropped out of high school when I was 17 to play bass in my sisters’ band. I recorded my first album in my bedroom and released it when I was 19. My music is some odd mixture of folk, roots rock, and dreamy soundscapes.
In which ways do you enjoy interacting with fans (i.e.: social media, backstage, on the street), and do you find that this is an important piece of your career?
Honestly, when I was a kid, I wanted little to no interaction with the musicians I admired. I loved the mystique that my favorite artists possessed. I didn’t want to know too much because I’d soon find they were human just like me. Nowadays, this has obviously changed. Fans want to know everything about you and to be a part of your journey. I’ve always struggled with responding to fans through social media so I try and make up for it at concerts. I’ll sit at the merch booth until I’ve spoken with everyone who was at the show. I know it means a lot to them and it means just as much to me.
What do you find to be your greatest struggle when it comes to the music business?
The amount of thought that goes into branding and marketing is taxing. So many artists now are businessmen. Always thinking about clever ways they can stay culturally relevant and grab headlines. Whether it’s covering a Taylor Swift record top to bottom or creating your own parody of a streaming service, a lot of musicians now have to be more than just musicians. I suppose I don’t blame them, people need stuff to talk about, I guess. We live in a sensationalist tabloid culture. Rolling Stone magazine is no different than US Weekly. Spotify is like NetFlix for music and is consumed the same way.
If you could only play ONE of your songs for the rest of your career, which one would it be?
What do you think is the most realistic goal you can achieve as an artist/band? What do you hope to achieve?
The only time the word “realistic” is spoken in a musicians career is when they’re winding things down or calling it quits. The mere acceptance of reality is the death of the artist. The life of the traveling musician defies all that is practical. If I’ve got any advice to give, it is to embrace the ego, cast a wide net and have lofty expectations. Aim for the stars. When you’re young, you have to. I think the definition of success changes as you get older so you’ve got to milk it while you’re young and have the energy. If your band is special and you have something unique to offer the world that is immediate and significant, there is no reason you can’t be as successful as you want to be, provided you put in the hours and hours of work. If you aim to play arenas, you just may end up selling out theaters across the country. If you aim to play 250 seat clubs, you could very well end up playing bars the rest of your life.
Outside of music, what do you like to do that you feel contributes to the creativity that you tap into for your music?
I try and travel as much as possible.