C.W. Franz: 'I stayed patient and developed a style that fits me perfectly.'

We were fortunate enough to interview artist C.W. Franz.

When did you realise that you had a passion for music?

My dad used to place me on his lap and we'd listen to Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band before I went to bed. That whole album transported me to a magical place, and showed my young mind that it was possible to create whole worlds with sound. Although I started making music relatively recently when compared to a lot of my fellow artists and musician friends, that experience has remained a huge influence on me.

Who are your main inspirations as an artist?

I'm very influenced by the Beach Boys, John Coltrane, Brian Eno, Leonard Cohen and Mark Kozelek (for my singer-songwriter material), and Miles Davis.

What would you like to achieve as an artist?

I just want to express things through my music that are true to who I am and resonate with others. So much music today is manufactured for streams and going viral and I'm just not wired for that.

What is your most memorable moment while being an artist?

My accomplishments are small in the grand scheme of things, but I'm proud of them. Chief among them is the fact that I've performed a couple of intimate live sessions. That's big for me because I tend to be very introverted.

Who is the biggest artist you’ve worked with?

I've worked with a woodwind player that has toured with Rod Stewart and a cellist who has worked with Bonnie Prince Billy. They're not household names, but they're first-class musicians.

Tell us a little more about your recent project?

My newest album, C.W. Franz II, is a new age record that draws on my personal travels across the Midwestern United States. It's sort of an impressionistic journey that's concerned with reclaiming this unspoiled landscape that existed before European settlers and modernity changed it irrevocably. There's influence from Duke Ellington, Brian Eno, Aaron Copland, traditional music from around the world, and Mother Nature herself. It's a very unique listening experience and probably the most important record I've made so far.

What should we be looking forward to from you in the future?

I have plenty of leftovers from this album, a few songs that are pretty old and more in a progressive folk vein, some piano-based improvisational chamber music...and I'm working on a new album that's closer to electronica with some ambient and synthwave elements. It's a lot. I try to stay busy!

Is there anything else you would like to tell our readers?

At the risk of sounding corny, here's a piece of advice: If you don't think you can do something you really want to do, you can! I was worried my physical disability and lack of dexterity would preclude me from playing an instrument, but I stayed patient and developed a style that fits me perfectly. It doesn't happen overnight, but if you have passion and drive, things will start to fall into place.

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