Miles Francis has today released they/their new album titled ‘Good Man’. And today we have the double treat of showing you that album as well as getting an insight from the one they/them in the form of an exclusive interview with Miles Frances via Zoom as well as feature they/their upcoming and original performances in support of ‘Good Man’.
One thing you have to know about Miles, from the start, is that this is an artist that you can’t simply peg into a specific genre, gender, style, or art. You simply can’t. And, after you get to know Miles, you realize why should you. Isn’t classification something that can hinder, or even hurt, and artist? Or a person, for that matter? We are slowly learning that lesson with the monumental shifts in society that we are experiencing at this point in history, and it is people like Miles, and many, many more, that light the way in distinguishing the socially and creatively relevant from the white noise of society. Helping us go from ‘You can’t’ to ‘Why not?’.
And, in this interview, we get a glimpse of the mind behind the music and the heart behind the soul in this conversation style interview on originality and beyond.
Check out the tracks of ‘Good Man’ below.
Check out our other features with Miles Francis HERE.
Get your copy of ‘Good Man’ HERE.
Check out Miles’ GOODMANAGANZA Celebration @ Porter Studio on March 4th in NYC HERE.
Check out the Truck Tour via Instagram HERE. Pickup truck performances around NYC on March 5th, 2022.
Check out Miles Francis @ The Sultan Room HERE.
Francis’ experiences during the ‘Good Man’ project helped them come out as non-binary, resulting in works of gorgeous paradox: nuanced explorations of masculinity and all its trappings, presented in a sound that’s joyfully unfettered.
Today, Francis continues their story with the catchy synth-pop single & video for “Let Me Cry.” They explain: “Everyone starts from the same place, regardless of gender. As children, we let our emotions go, uninhibited and in touch with our vulnerabilities. As we age, we go through a ‘boxing in’ by family or society – unless we can break out.” The one-shot video was totally improvised, mirroring Francis’ own struggle to access emotions, captured alongside the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.
Playing into the album’s themes and storyline are previous singles “Popular” (feat. Lizzie Loveless & Lou Tides – formerly of TEEN – on background vocals) and “Service,” complete with mesmerizing boy band clone choreography that mirrors Miles’ own recording process in quarantine. “Everyone indulges in having an ego and wanting to be recognized, but men seem particularly bent on the power element — whether it’s taking up space in a room or leading a country,” says Francis. These were followed by remixes of “Popular” by Future Generations and “Service” from Overcoats, to love from KCRW, Earmilk, The Wild Honey Pie & beyond.
Produced by Francis and recorded in their longtime studio (located in the basement of the Greenwich Village building they grew up in), Good Man arrives as the most visionary and elaborately realized output yet from a polymathic artist known for collaborating with the likes of Angélique Kidjo, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, and Arcade Fire’s Will Butler.
“I grew up with boy-band posters from floor to ceiling in my bedroom, and that music very much dominated my life when I was young,” they point out. “Later on I studied Afrobeat music and started playing with different groups in that world, which helped me to get to a place where I could be totally free in my musical expression.” Also naming shapeshifters like Prince and David Bowie among their essential touchstones, Francis ultimately alchemized those inspirations into a highly percussive form of art-pop, both lavishly orchestrated and visceral in impact.
As an artist indelibly informed by the kinetic energy and eclecticism of New York City, Francis drew immense inspiration from their hometown: “At the start of the protests and the resurgence of Black Lives Matter, I realized the most direct way I could help was to get a drum and go out to marches and keep a beat for organizers,” says Francis, who soon assisted a friend in the founding of a New York-based collective called Musicians United. “In the beginning the goal was to get involved with anti-racist work, but the experiences I had and the people I met through the Black Trans Lives Matter movement opened up my whole world. It gave me a new mirror to see myself in, and helped me to find my own queerness and nonbinaryness.”
Francis finally realized: “When I’m in my studio, it feels like being completely free of the outside world, free of gender, free of everything except me. I feel like I’m finally figuring out how to take that freedom beyond my musical expression and bring it into every aspect of my life. Now I want to share that feeling with everybody.”
Polymathic artist Miles Francis is already known amongst musicians as one of the best kept secrets of the NYC music scene. Since they started playing – first the drums at 6, then guitar, bass, keyboards, other percussion – they have been an audiophile of the highest order. As a working musician, Miles has collaborated and performed with Sharon Jones, Amber Mark, Angelique Kidjo, Allen Toussaint, Tunde Adebimpe (TV on the Radio) and many others; toured the world with Will Butler (Arcade Fire), Antibalas, and EMEFE; and appeared on shows like Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and The Late Show with David Letterman.