Photo © Day Clifford
17/4/16
 
Like so many of us, Neil Francis came to my attention just over a year ago when he was captured singing on the London Underground after an Erasure gig. I doubt Neil himself would have predicted that his video would have hit the dizzy heights of 37 million views. 
Neil has kindly took time out to answer a few questions for Revival Synth
 
 Q. It's over a year ago now since you were filmed by your friend singing 'A Little Respect' on the London Underground, you must be still pinching yourself? 
A. It's still quite sureal to be honest, I look back at it and think OMG did it really happen? I'm just blown away how 59 seconds of me singing ended up with over 37 million views.. I'm just overwhelmed with the thousands of messages of how it's made people happy 
 
Q. After all the attention the video has brought your way, will you do it again one day? 
A. Who knows lol ... I dare say given the right time and place I might belt out another song 
 
Q. A lot of pop stars go to Iceland and have fans singing along to their songs at their concerts but you have them singing them when you go to the frozen food store, Is that true lol ? 
A. That was so funny, it was just after things starting to go viral, I was doing my weekly shop and all of a sudden I heard ' I try to discover....... then people in the next row were all singing 'A LITTLE RESPECT'... then coming up to shaking my hand saying how brilliant they thought it was. 
 
Q. You are a full time singer and you perform around your local area of Norfolk and Suffolk, has the popularity of the video opened up new horizons? 
A. Yes, in quite a few ways, working with Shelter was amazing recording 'CONNECTED' was just incredible to do and I can't thank them enough for it, I love the song so much, lyrically and musically it's everything I love in a song. Recording Rude Tube was an experience, as was singing at The Rosewood Hotel for Winq magazine for The Elton John Foundation. Getting to know other musicians and radio presenters, internet sites dedicated to synth music and collaborating with Johnny Normal was lovely to do. Singing with  Andy Bell  at the Anniversary Party was nothing short of a dream come true, to share the stage and sing with someone who musically and vocally has been in my life since they started was something I'll cherish for the rest of my life.

Q. What kind of music do you sing on the pub/club circuit? 

A. Mainly 80's classics ERASURE, DEPECHE MODE, ALISON MOYET, OMD, VISAGE , CULTURE CLUB, SOFT CELL, ABBA etc.... Bands and singers who have inspired me as a singer 

 

Q. Do you write your own music or songs? 

A. I have done in the past, I can't say it's my strong point as I don't read or write music, my lifelong friend Day Clifford has written some wonderful songs and we're always working together as a team. He writes the lyrics, plays the main structure of music and I'll add my input in mixing, harmonies ect. 'Ghost' which was released after 'CONNECTED' was written by  Derrick Ryder  a longtime friend who sent me it to listen to, it instantly struck a chord and myself and Day Clifford worked on it and released it as we did with the 'Closure' ep. 'Goodbye' a quite poppy number was written, performed by Day and mixed together with myself. 'Departure', quite a musical song was written by Derrick Ryder and mixed by Day and myself ...it's like a team collaboration. Were currently working on something that's a lot darker than 'Goodbye', think Numanesque synths with a touch of robotics lol x 

 

Q. You worked with Mark and Rob of Shelter on the track 'Connected', do you plan to collaborate with them again? 

A. Indeed it's deffo on the cards, as soon as they have released their new album 'Ascend' they have both said that they are going to write me a follow up single to 'CONNECTED'... something quite 'Anthemic'. To say I'm excited doesn't cover it... I CAN'T WAIT !! 

 

Q. You're part of an amazing line up at Electro London, how did that opportunity arise? 

A. I'M SO LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS !!! Johnny Normal put it to me some months back and I instantly said YES! To be part of such a line up is incredibly exciting and I'm so thankful to be given the chance to join such wonderful talented artists, for what looks to be an amazing night x

Q. You have covered a Johnny Normal track too? 

A. Yes 'SAVE ME' was a track Johnny sent me after I suggested I might have a go at something he wrote, I love the dark synth sounds on this, it's quite a personal song for Johnny and I was so glad he sent me it to put my vocals on. 

 

Q. I have seen a video of Andy Bell walking on the stage whilst you were performing, besides Andy, who would be your dream walk on? 

A. That night was truly AMAZING. I guess if I was to think of anyone else it would be either Agnetha Faltskog or Frida of ABBA or Alison Moyet their voices, as well as Andy's, have been a source of inspiration throughout the years. 

 

Q. Social media does have its flaws, but your video success shows the power of social media. It proves the quirkier or bizzarre the vid the better chance of instant success. What are your thoughts on instant success via you tube or reality TV and have you ever thought of auditioning for XFactor or Britain's Got Talent? 

A. I've auditioned for X Factor, BGT and The Voice in the past and not got through, I have mixed feelings about them tbh, The tube video has changed my life, introduced me to some amazing talented people, release songs I love and sing with someone who I've listened to through the years with love and admiration x 

 

Q. Any tips for me Neil? I tried singing 'A Little Respect' at the Leeds Train Station and I was quickly moved along by the police lol 

A. Don't ever give up on your dreams, if you fall down dust yourself off and start again !! 

 

Q. What next for Neil Francis? 

A. Apart from working with my mate Day Clifford and Derrick Ryder on new material and collaborating with Shelter for a follow up single... Electro London in Sept... I'm keen to collaborate with anyone who might write something for me or who thinks my voice would add something to their work.  Anyone who feels I could add something to their music  can contact me via my Facebook page or through  the contact form on my website, I love collaborating with other artists. Apart from all these exciting and wonderful things I shall carry on trying to perfect my craft and never stop trying to achieve bigger and better things with my voice, and even if it never happens I can always say I've tried and I'm grateful for what I've achieved x

 

Thank You Neil, I look forward to meeting you in London. Is there anything else you would like to add? 

A. I would just like to thank everyone for their constant support over the past years, you'll never know how much it means to me THANK YOU X

4/4/2016