Fran Lobo is an enigma that can’t be pinned down. Following a run of several acclaimed singles, the London-based singer is gearing up for her much-anticipated and intensely self-aware album ‘Burning It Feels Like’. With shades of Kate Bush, Alice Coltrane, and Prince, the artist describes the album’s core sentiment as that of self-examination. “I’ve grown a lot through the last three or four years of therapy and I’ve been able to really analyse relationships and the ways in which I have thought about things,” she explains. “There’s a lot of songs about struggling with self-esteem, the feeling of lacking a sense of belonging or self-worth… “I’m trying to take back control of the power in my life.”
Though her lyricism may be fiercely tender and revealing, a straight and narrow depiction of introspection has never completely satisfied her. She explains that many of her songs are configured as a “journey”, one in which “you’re not really sure where you’re trying to get to.” Fran Lobo’s work embodies the conception of the unforeseen, with patchwork production making it difficult to classify or confine her to a specific genre. “It’s like mixing and throwing paint,” she offers.
With a varied musical childhood – familial threads of classic rock and country, via her brother’s metal obsession and her mother’s Bollywood fixation – she’s able to draw on a wide palette. “I guess it was quite mixed and through school I was introduced to lots of different kinds of music,” she explains. “I remember when I was 18, walking into a studio and explaining what I wanted to make – Rage Against The Machine but sounding like Mariah Carey… and now I’ve made it happen.”
In creating a soundscape that is multi-faceted, it seems that Fran Lobo is seeking to acknowledge the dichotomous experience of the human condition: that it’s possible for many things to exist and be true at the exact same moment. “My main theme is the building of fantasy worlds in your head, getting lost in dreaming and projecting what you think your reality is.” Ultimately, she wants people to hear something that’s in motion, something which is “emotional but also energised.” Fran Lobo’s music is a mirror turned to the colour and chaos of what it is to feel many things at once.
‘Burning It Feels Like’ is out now.
Words: Talitha Myners