Faye Donna Francis Delves Deep on Heartfelt EP ‘Process’

Emerging singer-songwriter, Faye Donna Francis has just released her debut EP ‘Process’. Containing four tracks, the project showcases a sound that’s heartfelt and soulful, with a lyrical style to match. Delving deep, the artist explores introspective themes such as imposter syndrome, poor mental health and complex personal relationships. Faye offers a relatable perspective within her storytelling, particularly serving an honest insight into a young artist trying to find their way in a complex 21st Century world. On each track Faye documents her journey of self growth whilst the listener accompanies her over the hurdles that so many of those in their early 20s would have also faced. 

‘Process’ is a body of work designed to empower, in which Faye imparts dashes of wisdom and optimism, encouraging listeners to embrace their unique paths. The artists talents have certainly been noticed with numerous support from BBC Introducing North West, as well as continual growth across socials and Spotify. ‘Process’ looks set to project Faye’s career to new heights and we were intrigued by the stories she had to tell on the project. We caught up with the artist to learn more about the message she’s hoping to project on the EP, her determination to evoke positive change from her music and the challenges emerging artists face during the age of social media.

Hey Faye! Thanks for taking the time to chat with us today. When did you start your journey in music? Was it always a dream of yours to make a career out of the artform?

So my journey into music started during the lockdowns. I had no other way to express myself creatively and all the other creative activities I was attending had to be shut down. So I started songwriting and singing just to pass time.

This then grew into a passion once I met Liverpool legend KOF and he prompted me to come and record at his studio GOPLAY Studios. Since then, we made an EP together and I’m now addicted to making music!

It absolutely wasn’t my dream to sing. I absolutely dreaded the idea of singing on my own or in front of people. I only ever felt comfortable singing when it was in groups or behind closed doors like in the shower. Even that was only when my family was out of the house. I really wanted to either be like an actor, or a writer, or at one point even a florist. But I suffer really badly from hay fever so that dream was destroyed. So in the end I gave music a try and here we are.

What challenges have you faced in your career so far as an emerging artist?

Having to compromise and be active on social media. As an emerging and independent artist you have to be on it all the time. To grow and showcase your music to a wider audience, you have to use social media. 

However the obsession for likes, the relentless amount of content needed and the bizarreness of looking at yourself constantly can be really overwhelming for me. It really can affect my mental health because I just don’t think that’s normal. 

So my compromise is creating content that is creative and personable, but also isn’t isolating or taxing to film. I don’t want my life to be completely social media orientated. It’s not why I became a musician. 

You’ve just released your debut EP ‘Process’, how does it feel now you’ve released such an emotive body of work to the world?

So cathartic! To release something so personal and it be well received is very healing, and also addictive. I want to get the next one going! 

What was the inspiration behind ‘Process’ and how long did it take you to write?

All of the songs from “Process” were either from diary entries or notes from therapy sessions I attended between the ages 19-24. I was trying to make sense and navigate the early experiences of my 20’s. 

The inspiration behind it was that I just wanted space, to be honest. I was really struggling navigating my early adult years and wanted to express the experiences and feelings that I had felt. Life is so up and down but we are expected to show only the highlights. Perhaps, more so with young adults. 

When you are a young adult you are told this is your prime, this is your moment and some days are amazing if you are fortunate enough to explore and chase your dreams. But not every day is your moment and not every day you have the energy to do what you think you are expected to do. You are dealing with adult things for the first time so there’s a whole level of confusion and heaviness to manage. And on top of that, sort a career, have a good social life, be in a relationship, be funny, beautiful, consistent on social media whilst also being aware of everything that’s going on and everyone around you.

They don’t prepare you for that when you leave school!

The EP unites themes such as Feminism, Growth, Mental Health, and Coming of Age. What message do you hope to project to those listening?

Speak up and speak out. Being a young person doesn’t have to be as hard if we’re all just a bit more honest with each other. We are all navigating this mad phase of life, so why not just be honest and be more authentic with each other. We’ll all feel better. 

On the project you challenge societal norms and promote self-acceptance, particularly when it comes to mental health. How important is it to you that you create music that pushes for positive change?

It’s super important! Even the saddest songs I have listened to have gotten me through bad times. They are the support blanket that I needed when I was in need of something to relate to. So I hope in being vulnerable and honest, that it creates a community of people that have a space to relate, talk and grow without fear. 

You’ve received early support from BBC Introducing North West, how does it feel to see such a platform react so positively to your work?

Aw, it’s so lovely you know. BBC Introducing have supported me so much and have opened so many doors, like getting played on Radio 1 and doing a gig at the Cavern as part of the station’s Eurovision takeover. I am so grateful for their support and will alway support my local radio. 

What else can we expect from you in 2023?

Gigs, gigs, and gigs! I’m performing at Wimin Festival (my first ever festival) on Saturday 29th July so that’s exciting. 

Experiencing more life so that I can write new songs, growing and exploring this new little chapter of myself. Hehe.

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Words: Jake Wright