I recently completed a round-up review based around music with elements of soul within it. One of the songs featured was SO DANCE by GIANFRANCO GFN. I wanted to find out a little more, so I decided to have a chat with him!

By Jane Howkins

You recently released a track titled SO DANCE, which we reviewed. What can you tell us about the song? What does the title refer to?

This track was conceived during the pandemic and I wanted to bring something positive both musically and lyrically. I imagined a passer-by strolling through the streets on a beautiful spring day without any specific goal. Suddenly, he hears music coming from an open window, so captivating that his imagination takes him, for a few seconds, to a paradise on earth where colours, feelings & sensations of all positivity intermingle and bring a joy of living that makes him forget all resentment, headaches and boredom. 

Has the pandemic hindered your work much?

Yes, because everything had to be organised according to the restrictions, so all the studio productions were more complicated to achieve! I still recorded 10 songs during the two years of the pandemic. These 10 tracks have been presented one by one with a video that can be seen on my Youtube channel, the last of which will be released on May 31st. Then I will present the complete album in digital version. This new opus will be called TROUBADOUR.

What is the writing and recording process like for you?

For example, with SO DANCE, when I got the text, I quickly imagined dance music in my style something that takes you away without these current rhythms! Then when I get to the studio, I first record it with the rhythmic base, drums, bass, guitar, keyboard and the vocal line. Then we move on to the part where we complete it with percussion, double voices and some arrangements. And if everything fits we send it to the mix, etc.

Do you plan to release any more singles in the near future?

Yes, the next track HOPE will be released on May 31st on all platforms. It will be the last one for this album, TROUBADOUR, which will be presented with its complete cover by this summer. Then there will be other tracks that will arrive already for the next album on the 5th. You have to know that today we work backwards compared to 20 years ago, you have to present one track after the other and finally you press the whole album, because of the internet and the digital phenomenon…

Have you started writing for an EP or an album?

As I said before, I’m already writing the next songs and the next album as well. And as I explained before, on the new and next album each track will be presented one by one, so for those who follow me, they will be able to have a new listen every month or two.

What/who influences you most as an artist? What have you been listening to recently?

My influences are jazz, soul, acid jazz, bossa & funk. I’m someone who goes against the grain of current styles! My influences apart from the classics like The Beatles, The Stones, The Police, Wes Montgomery, Santana, Incognito, the Motown years… And what I listen to even recently is still these artists, because coming from this time, I still like the played instruments side and not the machine side…

Where are you based? What is the music scene like in your part of the world

I live in Biel/Bienne, a city in Switzerland near Bern, the capital. Here of course, the pandemic has affected us a lot. We have a very varied scene that goes from jazz to current styles and rap, DJ, etc… But what is interesting is that we still have a lot of musicians like me coming from the underground world who learned and grew up with the musical world of the 60s, 70s, and 80s – in two words, the history of modern music…

Do you have any tour dates lined up?

Unfortunately not! With what we’ve been through now it’s complete chaos to shoot a date, and I think it won’t be until 2023 that we can talk about concert dates! A lot of requests have been made, but we are so busy, not only here in Switzerland but all over Europe, and the places are very few… In the meantime, I produce in the studio, and sometimes we make live clips in the studio. Again, those who follow me will be able to find out in the coming months.

What can people expect from one of your shows and why should people come and see you perform live

A concert is always a magical moment, if you like the artist and this genre you will have a blast. When you listen to your artist on CD, via streaming, on the net, etc., then you see him on the different sites. The day when he comes in person with his band next to your home, you will want to seeing him in concert, that’s still the magic side of all of us, isn’t it? Just to see the band perform, for example, your song that you love, in concert, it’s just magic.

Any last words for the fans?

First of all, a big thank you to all those who follow me and who like me and leave messages. I would just like to say that without you, we cannot move forward, we need your support! So don’t forget to share, like, leave a comment and help us above all by buying one or more pieces, or an album or by making a donation. Today with digital and all its major platforms we earn almost nothing. We also need you directly. A big thank you to all, take care of yourself.