In November 2020, Franklin released a remix version of CHIC’s iconic hit single Everybody Dance alongside DJ Cedric Gervais, and the track features CHIC’s co-founder Nile Rodgers, who re-recorded the guitar parts for the new release. As a producer, Franklin has topped the UK Dance Chart and has worked closely with Digital Farm Animals over a number of years, having remixed music together by artists such as James Arthur and Mabel. We caught up with Franklin recently to talk about remixing CHIC’s Everybody Dance, working with DJ Cedric Gervais and Nile Rodgers and collaborating with Digital Farm Animals.
How has it been working on Everybody Dance with DJ Cedric Gervais which also features Nile Rodgers?
It’s been mad. Being able to work with and then release a single with two heavyweights in Cedric and Nile has been a real game changer for me in so many ways. I feel massively privileged to do so.
What inspired you to remix the CHIC hit Everybody Dance?
I was having a really average/uninspiring day making music and I just wanted to make something fun and uplifting. I found myself going through Nile’s classics and when I stumbled onto Everybody Dance, I instantly remembered how excitable and generally happy it made me feel as a child. From then on it just seemed like a no brainer to me!
Can you say more about how the single came about and what it was like working on it during the pandemic?
By total chance, me and Cedric were working on a really similar Everybody Dance vocal sample and a mutual friend of ours in the industry suggested we linked up to see if we could get anything together. We got on really well and figured it made sense to collaborate together on it and see what we could get. After a bunch of Zooms and back and forths, we ended up in a really good place with the track and were ready to send on to Nile and his team. Nile got back to us saying he loved what we did and that he wanted to re-record new guitars for it and a week later we had everything! Initially I was really worried it just wouldn’t work with Nile and Cedric being in the US but it was genuinely smooth sailing throughout.
How was it hearing the finished song for the first time after Nile had re-recorded the guitar parts?
Goosebump moment. The intro gets me every single time just hearing Nile jamming on the guitar.
How has it been seeing the listeners’ response to the reimagined track?
It’s been so, so great seeing how well it’s been received by everyone. It’s always a touchy subject reimagining a track as special as Everybody Dance but the reaction has been so positive.
You’ve had a few releases with Digital Farm Animals, how long have you been working together?
Yes, many releases and many more to come I have no doubt. We’ve been working together since before I was even in the industry and haven’t stopped since. He’s basically been my unofficial mentor for the past four years.
Can you say about some of the musical tracks you’ve worked on together which have included songs by Mabel and James Arthur?
Being asked to do remixes for artists of that calibre is always a privilege. I guess it’s also a nervy moment awaiting their thoughts on what I’ve done to their song, haha.
What’s your process of remixing music?
I love to keep as open-minded to remixes as I’m allowed to. Sometimes the remix has to sound a specific way which is fine but my favourites are the ones where I can just freestyle and do whatever I fancy. With the Mabel remix I just wanted to turn it into a really dark sounding house track with classic house drums and big distorted basslines whereas with the James Arthur remix I really wanted to make an anthemic festival sounding track so really it just depends on my mood, I guess!
How did your music career come about?
It follows on from the link with Digital Farm Animals as he was the guy that introduced me to my record label and publisher. I’d just been spamming his inbox with track ideas and one day he got back saying we should all meet up with some other people in the industry and it just went from there really.
Who are some of your favourite artists to listen to?
Again, just depends on my mood but right now, I’m really loving the new Bicep album.
What do you enjoy doing away from music?
I’m football mad to be honest. If I’m not working I’m usually either watching Arsenal play or playing FIFA. Love a good crime drama too…
Do you have any upcoming music plans you can talk about and what are you looking forward to most for when the music industry comes back fully after the pandemic?
I’m DESPERATE for festivals, live shows, and everything else in that world to come back and it’s 100% the most exciting thing I keep thinking of once we get out of this dark place. As for my own musical plans, I’m working on so many different things for myself and other artists. As cheap as it sounds… You really should watch this space.
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