PREMIERE | Montreal Musical Genius FRASE Breaks Down His Upcoming Album Track-By-Track

PREMIERE | Montreal Musical Genius FRASE Breaks Down His Upcoming Album Track-By-Track

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On Our Radar

Discover the melting pop world of FRASE.

This Montreal-based musical genius has been cooking a melting pot of pure pop bliss, offering a couple of teasers such as his most recent single release "The Weight" featuring Sickflip off his upcoming album titled FRNZ, which we are having you listen exclusively for the first time. 

The music he makes sounds like a wide-range of sounds featuring sprinkles of hip-hop, soul, dub reggae and blues all packed into one modern dance style flavour of House music. Layering his sultry vocals over this amalgalm of pure bliss, you will go through the entirety of the album without wanting to skip one song.

As he continues to capture audiences all over the world, FRASE is definitely someone to watch out for, as he's about to take over the scene like a storm.  

We asked FRASE to break it down for us, and he delivered. Click play below and listen to FRNZ for the first time and scroll through the track-by-track description to really immerse yourself in his world of sounds. 

The Weight ft. Sickflip

This song was was written at a point in my life where I felt like my lifestyle needed to change. The weight of unsuccessful relationships and failed musical projects racked up while I was living in Montreal. In the dead of winter I moved out of my apartment, sold all my stuff and travelled to India.

I met up with Sickflip in Mumbai. We vibed over our shared love for Mr.Carmack and a traditional western breakfast (which is super hard to find in India) . I really like the chops he did with my voice and he built some serious hi hats and percussion sounds. I finally finished this song while living in Florence, Italy last spring and have been playing it out live a lot, I feel way lighter now.

Need it Now ft. Fawna & Atamone

I love these two collaborators. They have been homies of mine for long time. Atamone (beatmaker), Fawna (vocalist) and myself hosted a weekly Sunday night jam called “Jazz& Dilla” at Honey Martin in NDG in Montreal. We brought to the table our own solo material and then we would jam on each other's tracks and play a bunch of Hip-Hop and R&B covers and then put on J Dilla instrumentals in between sets. We wrote “I Need It Now” and started performing it live in our sets. Then Illa J (J Dilla's younger Brother) caught word and came to check us out. He ended up loving the vibe and coming up and freestyle singing with us. Illa J took over for me when I left on tour and they continued the weekly for another six months and now Fawna, Atamone and Illa J have a band together as The Marshens. Check em out. #ndglife #jazz&dilla

She Said ft Dead Horse Beats

I met Patrick Wade (Dead Horse Beats) when we played together at Le Belmont with my old project FM Hi Low in 2014. We linked again a year are so down the road at our mutual friend Atamone's house and made Sink in a couple hours. Patrick invited me over to try vocals for one his songs he was working on for an upcoming release on Bastard Jazz. We worked on the lyrics together over an afternoon and then just tracked vocals in his bed room. I think I had a blanket over my head to make it more dead. His is EP Bad Hopes is out now. I made my own remix of She Said for my album and released it as a single with a beautiful video filmed in a log cabin in BC last winter. Contemporary dancer Geneviève Gagné made the trip out from Montreal to bring her artistic sensibilities and mesmerizing movement to the project.

I've Been In It (Prod by Leonard P & Ckrono)

I met Italian producer Leonard P of Numa Crew, in 2015 when we shared a stage together at this epic open air auditorium show with Dub Fx, Noisia, & Numa Crew in Florence, Italy. I had a week off after the show and he took me out to see the beautiful sights around the city and then invited me to the Numa Crew studio. He played me a series of beats he had made that didn't quite fit the Numa Crew style. This beat was one that caught my ear the most. I wrote the lyrics to it that afternoon and then recorded the vocals. I came back to Montreal with the stems and couldn't quite finish the song. I decided to move to Florence, Italy for three months in January of 2016 to try to finish this album. In that process I became good friends with Ckrono who shared the Numa crew studio and also started a label with Leonard P called Voodoo Rebel. I asked Ckrono to work on some additional production for “I've been In It” and then we filmed a video for it biking around Florence.

This Road ft. Mongoose.

During my three month stay in Florence, Italy last year I got an email from Mongoose (based in Berlin) with a bunch of ideas for tracks he had made and asked me if I felt like singing on one of them. This chord progression started and I was singing to it right away. He sent over the Ableton session and I started tweaking the beat and adding guitar. We finally linked up while I was in Berlin shortly after that, and we worked more together at his studio. I made the drop section while living in a tent in Amsterdam and busking in the streets with my girlfriend who was with me while we forged a path through Europe and across Canada performing in the streets, clubs and music festivals. I finally finished the song while living in BC last winter. This one has been a real journey to make, during which time a new relationship was bourgeoning with my love and partner. This song is about that journey through the heart, through space and time. The voices in the drop section are a sample of Pygmy voices from central Africa that i chopped up from a Bill Laswell sample pack

FRNZ

This one happened super fast during my stay in Florence. I woke up at 4 am with this synth riff in my head. I got up, laid it down and then wrote and recorded all the vocals and instruments by 9 am. The idea to call the album FRNZ came about shortly after this song came out of nowhere. The city of Florence or Firenze to the locals, was so friendly to me. The Numa Crew and Dub Fx connections where helping me to finish my first full length album. Say the city's name fast and it kinda sounds like friends – FiReNZe—when you cut out the vowels, it's FRNZ. Because of Facebook and social media the term friends to me has become too broad. I wanted to come up with a phrase that could be more specific to the people in your life who go beyond superficial friendship to the point of changing your life for the better and helping you realize your greatest potential self.

Holdin'

I wrote this song back in 2015 while I was living and recording at Dub Fx House in Australia. I made the Daggers & Shields EP there with Cade, and this tune came out of a simple acoustic porch Jam session. It is really about the current everyday struggle which sometimes leaves me to feel like I'm just holding on. It also talks about lost love and failed friendships and how I just want to encourage those people that I love to keep holdin' on and keep that hustle flowing.

Serotonin

This song is one of the first I wrote for the album. It speaks of my concern for my generation, the millenials, the club rats, the ravers, the festival scene as a whole where serotonin spiking drugs have become common place, a weekly affair. I worry about the imbalances I witness, the dependancy on substances and stimuli to FEEL something. We have become desensitized as a culture because of the abundant distractions in our faces and we are accustom to extreme states and emotions to get a sense of movement. I think about us at 65 years old and how we will all hold up. This song is a love song for my friends, in a way a prayer for moderation.

Karma

The chord progression and chorus melody of this song come from a jam I had with Exmag in my apartment in NDG in 2014. They said I should write a tune with it, and the lyrics came together in Rishikesh, India while living in a guest house in 2015. I was there for three weeks helping with a street art project at the Beatles Ashram and I would bring my acoustic guitar everywhere, like I imagined the Beatles did when they were writing the white album there. I played that chord progression over and over until the verses finally came.

Made My Bed

This tune was the last song to come together for the album. I made the beat and was considering just releasing it as an instrumental. Then, I finally found some lyrics for it and my girlfriend Em helped me finish them while we drove across Canada last January, driving away from the pressures of city-life in Montreal to a cabin in the woods near Nelson BC, seeking simplicity and a space to focus. I spent the winter stoking the fire and finishing the album FRNZ in the interior mountains of BC

Take You Away

I met Em in December 2015, right before I was about to move to Florence, Italy. We connected a lot in a very short amount of time and I wanted to see here again ASAP. The chorus to this one came about while thinking -what Im really asking her to do? Drop her life as a professional contemporary dancer and come on tour with me? I sent her a ruff mix of this tune from Italy and she met me in Prague a month later. So I guess it worked! We have been together ever since.

Night Light ft Moontricks

This song is a call for presence and connection. Music is powerful because it brings people together. It gets our hearts beating in rhythm, callibrates us, unites us. It is such a powerful thing when performing to feel that sense of connection with the crowd, that we are all here to feel connected and that we need each other. When my music can offer that, magic has taken place.

The words for this song came out in a songwriting session in December 2016 shortly after Trump was elected in the US. I was feeling pretty low about it. I was playing some chords from a song Moontricks had sent me, and the feeling I had about the need for connectivity faced with disheartening political and social regression had me in tears. Through the emotion came the words for half of a song.

My publisher Mary Catherine Harris paired me with Dear Denizen and Liz Labelle at a songwriting camp . They helped me finish some lyrics and then I recorded the vocals in the studio that day. I later synced it up with some of the guitars and soundscapes from the original Moontricks track.

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His album FRNZ releases very soon, for more sounds and info: 

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