Multi-instrumentalist Giuseppe Venturino, aka Franky Bones, is an essential cog in Nottingham’s creative scene. Alongside playing keys for Harleigh blu’s band and helping Ella Knight with her sonic production, he has been cooking up his own EP. With the 3 singles released, Franky took some time out to chat. We toured Sicily, Sneinton Market and talked skate.
The name Giuseppe is of the highest draw and Franky Bones screams tell me more. Frankly, I don’t know which one I prefer. “Franky Bones has been my Instagram name since I was about 14/15 because I was obsessed with Scorsese films. It’s a character mentioned in one tiny scene and I just thought I might as well use that since I’ve been called it since I was in secondary school”. Artists and fans have a interdependent relationship that demands action from the other. Being a musician often invites others to believe they know them personally and try to comment on the direction they take. “Keeping my own image is what matters to me, I wasn’t even gonna release music under a pseudonym. I don’t want to change or try and create an image, I just wanna wear baggy clothes and be comfy.”
Jazz is all inclusive, able to mould into what the artist wants it to become. “I see my music as my own little jazz. I used to think about what people are gonna see me as but now I don’t care. I’ve had vocal damage for the past year and a half. It seemed confusing because I’m 21 but I’ve got a silent acid reflux on my vocal chords. I’m having to change my lifestyle massively to be able to sing again. Whilst my voice is repairing I’ve been getting more into rapping. I’ve always produced beats for people but never really rapped on them. Might as well try it because of my circumstances at the moment”. Franky’s versatility elevates him to create music for all rooms of the house. He seamlessly merges components of Jazz, Hip-Hop, Rock and Soul to produce a soothing sound you can bop to. Witnessing the flows Giuseppe has to offer as he experiments with rapping is like seeing a butcher sharpen his utensils.
The new EP, ‘CASA SAUDADE’, is stacked with 6 songs and 3 singles. The project is a clear demonstration of the journey Franky has been on. As things continue to change around us we are faced with battles of freedom, motivation and hope, seeking inspiration from those close by. Influences on the EP are scattered, “My whole vibe changes when I’m around music, there’s something in me that makes me want to never not be around it. There’s so much influence, I realised recently that I’m much more productive when I’ve been skating. It really fuels me to do music, if I stop skating for a week or so I get into a creative rut”. Skating scares people. You can be a metre clear from someone and they will stop dead in their tracks. Although not in style, there are elements of skating evident in the EP, a fluidity to the sound that has been naturally made-to-measure. It is an individual challenge made better by the community it brings together in support. “I recorded most of the instruments for casa saudade on my own but finished it off at my mate Charlie’s studio. He’s the guy that mastered it. It’s about recognising that you’d be in a whole different world without the people that are around you.”
During the EP writing process Giuseppe created a skate video with local skaters and friends that was featured on Thrasher, “even the music was made in the skate park it was filmed in”. His creative output stretches far beyond the average. “My Dad and Mum are both in acting so I’ve always wanted to write short films. I think that’s something I’d like to slowly get back into. I’m mostly working on music and I’m lowkey working with some of my favourite artists at the moment so I’m looking forward to it. UK hip hop is a big thing to me and I’ve got friends that want me to drop verses on different things but it’s a working progress.” The process is the most important part for any good project. It seems that Franky is in the right places to keep adding layers to his sound. Don’t wait for Spotify’s release radar to hear what he has to say, go check it. Final single ‘Fall’ out today, EP out 28/12/2020.
Animal Hybrid: “Easy, Cat and a Panda. I’ve got a Panda tattoo they’re sick bro. Basically smaller than a panda but like a big size cat. For the mind it just depends on the day honestly. “
Biscuit: “Dark chocolate digestive. McVities. They’re just bold and mighty. You know its them you don’t bite into them like ooh is that an Oreo. Sponsor me McVities.”
Elijah the Alchemist
Freddie Scragg, aka: Yama, and Asa Hugo, aka: Mezu, are no strangers to waves, both growing up around island life in Jersey. Wanting a piece of the big city, the duo found new home-port in London, and started producing together soon after. The result: a sound that is everything 140 wants and needs to be. Following their latest EP, released on their very own label, Hot Contents Records, we chatted about the journey to the projects release, what London is saying in the frequency, and any future prospects.
Humility. It’s a sad rarity these days. In a world of industry fed, ego-dwelling “I’m the next Skream” or “You’ll remember me” spouting Bristolians, Fred and Asa’s humble demeanors are a welcome refreshment. Coming from a small, often forgotten island, and making a name for themselves in the big smoke, a lack of pretentiousness seems about right. “I find it weird just using artist names. Because It took us so long to find our titles. We thought, what kinda music are we making? It’s a dark, underground sound. That led me to wonder, what are the names of the guardians of the underground in different religions and faiths, Yama is in Hinduism and Mezu is in Buddhism. It doesn’t really have a wider meaning or applicability to us, but it does sound nice and definitely comes from a place of respect”.
Both share a love for radio. Asa had started work for Subtle FM before the forced break, “radio is a good place to get picked up and an easy way to see how people will play at an event. Radio is a key part in keeping Grime alive and how it is, every week there is someone doing a set.” Fred works at Rinse FM as a sound engineer, currently making sure all shows are online and everything is running smoothly during the lockdown period. Producing for the likes of Oblig, Slimzee and Swamp 81, his branches are intertwined with the unfurling roots of the Grime tree. “It’s the best place you can possibly imagine for meeting DJs and artists. It gives a visual picture of where you can get to”. Working alongside Grime heavyweights in the intense, isolated environment which radio often provides clearly enhances any aspirations in the scene.
Anyone based North of the Watford gap would be quick to ignore the sense of community found in the London 140 scene, contrary to the perception of London being a city of individuals all out for themselves. “At least once or twice a month there will be a free event, and everyone is there. All the decks are in the crowd, so you’ll just be stood next to people you see on radio all the time. You’ll go out and everyone is just stood chilling together and it’s quite weird how chilled out It is. They have a nice vibe to them because they aren’t in the proper nightclubs and it makes everything seem a lot more accessible. It’s a lot easier to network through people like that.” Not only does this provide a platform for MCs to keep raising the level in a battle of wits, it allows producers to get their beats played and wedge a foot in the door.
“If you get a Grime mc on a nice Dubstep beat it sounds so much better than some of the Grime that’s around today, that’s the kind of thing we want to do.”
Every artist needs some form of presence in online broadcasts, and their scenes live show ecosystem, in order to flourish. With a foothold in both these environments, the duo have built a foundation for their body of work to hit the next level. Logan delivers the piercing vocals heard on each track. It was through a run in with Logan by the toilets at Keep Hush where the seed for ‘Too Serious’ was sowed. “I find with MCs some of them are really reluctant and are just doing it (talking to you) for you to just go off, but when we met Logan it was completely different to that. He’s just a sound bloke.”
While finalizing a beat in the studio, Yama and Mezu again spotted Logan nearby. “He came back, me and Fred were just messing around but realised we had to get as much done in the next 10 minutes as we could so he could know what’s good. He was recording an all-star track for Lord of The Mics tape and he saw the beats we had and just said straight away he wanted to do it. He started writing lyrics when he first heard the beat. It’s sick watching Logan work, if he does something, he does it properly and it really affected us when we first started working with him. Loads of beats we had probably never would’ve been used and just stayed in the hard drive. His work rate is second to none.” The way the whole package has come together seems as if it was fate. In reality,
it is the determination of each individual to their craft and a collective understanding. A real hunger for greatness.
Their devilish trifecta with Logan bears all the symbols of classic grime, from writing to distribution, everything is DIY. “We had loads of ideas for videos but we couldn’t get anything prepared so Logan got his mate to film him on 1 road and edited it himself all in the 48 hours before the release.” This release stands testament to the fact that potential barriers can always be hurdled, irrespective of time constraint or resources. Fred and Asa live through their work, constantly itching to put out music. “We wanna get hot contents (their own record label) going and have others release on that too. We were speaking to Zha who does White Peach, he started signing people for at least 3 releases, but they can release on different labels as well. The 140 scene is good for that. We have said we definitely want releases on other labels. Gigs are just something that will come, we want to focus on DJing and getting our tracks sick.”
If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together. Production duos from Mount Kimbie to Digital Mystikz have long proven their value and advantages, and it appears to be a similar story for Yama and Mezu. “It’s good having 2 people because sometimes you doubt yourself so if they come and say nah that’s sick then things move a lot quicker.” While they pack a powerful double-punch, both artists are independently driven, with different pools of inspiration to draw from. The next EP looks as though it will demonstrate a different side, a more instrumental project that will include a solo track apiece, further building on the experimental and boundary pushing sounds they are defined by.
Despite Yama currently making beats on a ping pong table, these perfectionists set a standard of quality they never wanted to fall below. They are a duo defined by the fluidity of their interactions, the quality of their output, and the warm, real, attitude towards music making and living in London. Don’t sleep.
Yama- A ginger nut because that’s what I’ve been called from since I was young anyway so I might as well own it
Mezu- A jammy dodger because I’m hard on the outside and gooey on the inside
Yama- Head of a croc, body of a cheetah and mind of a dolphin because It would be smart, fast and deadly
Mezu- I would be a honey badger swordfish with the mind of a chimpanzee so I’m a smart amphibian apex predator