Franklin Aniebona a.k.a Frankeyz (born September 4, 1986) is a recording, performing artist and songwriter signed on to the GreyWolf Empire, his latest monster hit CameraBoy has further consolidated his place among the stars, earning him rave reviews and accolades in the music industry, as well as endearing him to more fans.Frankeyz’ brilliant career has seen him working with and lacing backing vocals for A-list artistes like Yemi Alade, Sound Sultan, 2Baba, Gloria Ibru, Banky W and more. His style of music has been described as “eccentric” by his loyal fans. His first single – ‘oshere’ was released officially on the 2nd of July 2016 and has enjoyed massive airplay since then on radio stations and online streaming. He’s gone along to release other hit sounds which include CameraBoy, Magic in the Air and even a cover to Zayn Malik’s PillowTalk. He is the first from a family of four other siblings and though born in Kano, he hails from Oyi in Anambra State. In this chat with MUTIAT ALI, he leads us into the world of music and other sundry issues.
1. What inspires your creativity?
My creativity is largely inspired by my environment, emotions, family, fans, mood and personal life experiences.
2. How was growing up like for you?
A bit rough, I didn’t have it all rosy. Lost my Dad while in Secondary school, had to fend for myself and my siblings with assistance from my Mum who was a petty trader then. I couldn’t further my education to University so I had to assist my Mum who was selling AloeVera in Oshodi. I remember hawking these Aloevera blades from 3pm to 7pm along the Oshodi expressway. The business became bad at some point and then I had to start block molding in Berger and from then the craving to sing started building up. I remember singing while Moulding blocks and a customer heard my voice and my first job to back up in bars and clubs officially came from that same customer who came to buy blocks.
3. How long have you been singing?
About nine years now, but professionally about two years.
4. Starting out as a musician, were your folks in support ?
Actually NO! My mum wanted me to learn a trade, I wanted to further my education in Music or Theater Arts. I believe it was only my siblings who supported me from the get go. Fast forward 10 years now, my Mum is actually my number 1 fan now.
5. Is music something that runs in the family?
Yeah. My kid brother is a musician too. Virtually all of my siblings have one thing or the other to do with regards to music. Some are in the craft itself, others are in the business of it.
6. Has there been any point in your career that you felt like quitting?
Before I got signed on to my record label, I was lead back-up singer for couple of A-list artistes. On the sides, I also did gigs at clubs and bars. There was this time I was invited to perform at a newly opened bar. I had a crowd of over 300 in number in awe of my performance and then an artist walked in, grabbed the mike from me while performing and announced his arrival and threw the mike down. This was the lowliest moment of my life. I felt totally worthless as I had to pick up the mike from the floor and continued performing to a crowd who now seemed less interested in my performance and more concerned with taking pictures with the Artiste. To make matters worse, the club manager walked up to me and reminded me I was just a club performer and had to keep up with my performance or risk collecting my balance. It was at this point that I totally agreed with my Mum and wished I was a businessman; would probably have some value that won’t be demeaning not to say the least.
7. What is your unique selling point as an artist?
I would say my vocal ability and my versatile approach to jump on any kind of sound.
8. Take the music away from you, define your personality?
Hmmm I really don’t know, as much of my life the past years has revolved around music. However, one interesting fact that most people don’t know is that I have got an alter ego- my street side. My alter ego is a bit rough, raw and rugged. At that transition stage, business, street life and my extrovert being are at its peak. Asides this, Frankeyz can be exceptionally calm and can spend most times in the Studio working.
9. What informed one of your hit songs ‘Camera Boy’, and the lyrical content?
CameraBoy was inspired by a personal experience I had with a celebrity crush last year. She doesn’t know this of course but while looking at her, I had several thoughts- wild and good ones about getting close. Then something spiked in my head and then I approached her for a selfie and the foolish me requested for her number so I could send her the pic through Watsapp. I was given the most glaring – “are you (expletive) serious?” stare. Anyways, I got the selfie but no number and that night, I started writing CameraBoy with this experience.
It’s a concept developed around having celebrity crushes or even crush on the average person and exploring all options to getting yourself noticed. You can try my shot- take a selfie and request for her Watsapp number to send it to. You never know, you could be lucky.
10. Which awards are you looking forward to winning?
I have never been a fan of awards. Don’t get me wrong. I totally agree awards are symbols of recognition for an artist’s work but trust me – it isn’t a symbol of acceptance. They are totally two different things. Nevertheless, I have always dreamed of getting a Grammy- not just been nominated but winning a Grammy with a major single by me without any collaboration.