The Seasons of Franklin Stone
Franklin Stone has continued his run of emotionally packed hits with the release of his debut EP, Seasons.
"Franklin Stone is a rapper, singer/songwriter, and producer based out of Maryland. He was also born in Maryland, but soon moved to South Carolina to be closer to his grandmother. Growing up relatively poor, Stone spent days on a farm as well as working hard in school and learning to play the saxophone and drums, cultivating his musical talent in church. After moving back to Maryland in 2007, Stone began recording music in high school, but it was not until after college that he began releasing his music. His first release was the Swirl Pack, a two song single boasting 21 and Fruit of my Labor in 2019. As the Covid-19 pandemic forced a worldwide quarantine, Stone ramped up his production, releasing To Be Frank, Lenses, Rain Transition as singles in 2021 from his debut EP Seasons on October 8th." (stonedproduce.art/franklinstone)
What 1st drew you to music?
Music was a requirement in my household growing up, my mom played piano for the churches we went to, and she was going to make sure I used all efforts to develop some type of musical talent, whether successful or not. I think I gravitated towards the set myself though. I remember beating on pots and pans, annoying my parents until they got me personal lessons.
How long have you been creating music?
Well, I started writing verses, which was really just bad poetry, in middle school, about 15 years ago. As I got older, I had an urge to start recording but I found that type beats were either too generic or were always missing something, so I started producing about 7 years ago.
How would you describe your sound and what sets you apart?
I grew up a huge fan of Kanye and how none of his albums sounded the same, so I’m constantly changing my sound production-wise, but the one thing that stays the same is that I keep my snares on the 3 and 7. As far as what sets my sound apart, I always base everything off of the sample or melody I use. My sound has trap and boombap elements and is usually dense production. Lyrically, I write with the goal of capturing double and triple entendres, but I don’t emphasize them in punchlines.
Tell us about your new EP “Seasons”.
Seasons was originally supposed to be apart of a greater album, documenting my emotional journey from dealing with a miscarriage to the birth of my rainbow baby, but I didn’t feel like I had any traction or enough of a following to pull off an album release, so I broke it down into parts. Seasons represents the “season” in my life in which I had to face the negative emotions associated with that time period. It begins with my innocence and then my ego dies and I have to find a way to vent. It transitions to a brighter outlook on life where I had to change how I was viewing my situation in order to move forward. It is a personal project to say the least.
In terms of the overall composition, do you have favorite song on this EP and why?
It’s hard to pick a favorite, I will say sonically I think St. Francis is a masterpiece, but the verses for Heaven and Lucid Dreams are such a direct outlet of my emotions that I can’t deny my affection for them. You can also hear the pain in my voice most in these songs, I didn’t want to re-record them because I fell in love with the rawness of my voice.
Were there any challenging aspects to writing and/or recording your music?
Honestly, some of the songs were hard to get through without breaking down. I couldn’t avoid thinking about why I wrote what I did in the process of recording.
Do you have any other plans relating to this release? A video?
As of right now, I’m writing the treatment for a couple of songs, so definitely keep a look out for those.
Is there a message in your music?
For this project specifically the message is to persevere. It’s okay to feel that the world is against you, just put your ego to the side, feel those feelings and grow from it. It will make you a better person.
Do you create music for yourself or for fans?
I don’t think I’ve reached the point where I could say that I have fans, at least definitely not at the point of recording the project. So the music I created was just an outlet, although I always had plans for releasing it. With that being said, if someone wants me to try a particular sound, I’m more than welcome to hear suggestions.
Which of your songs do fans seem to favor?
Definitely Lenses, it’s a feel good song with a brighter vibe than the rest of the project, but that song was released in the summer, so it was a proper match for the times, but the rest of the project has more of an autumn vibe, another reason I called it Seasons.
Which of your songs is, or do you think would be, fun to perform live?
I think EGO dead has the hype factor, on the right speakers, the drums will pop and get the crowd hype. I think Heaven for the right crowd would also move the crowd.
What would be your ideal press headline, either now or in the future? In which publication? Why?
“Franklin Stone is making waves with his latest release!” I honestly just want to relate to the people who take their time to listen to me. I think this headline would capture that feeling for me, I just want people to listen and understand how I’m feeling and what I’m talking about.
Share a magical moment or positive experience that has happened during your career.
Reaching 300 followers on Spotify, with no gimmicks has truly been a blessing to me. I can’t help but feel gratitude and excitement when someone hears my song on a playlist, and decides that song is worth going to my profile to hear more. Every follower is a blessing to me.
Other than fame & fortune, is there something you hope to achieve through music?
I just want my talent, whether it be within music or marketing, to be recognized and that I get the credit for what I do. Many of the artists that I’ve worked with or alongside have taken, either my musical themes or marketing strategies without giving me credit or even a shoutout. I also want the greats to recognize me as one of them, I know I’m far from that and have to develop my craft, but that is a goal for someone like Andre 3000 to complement my skills.
Who inspires you musically? What qualities do you admire about them?
I will always give credit to Kanye, Kid Cudi, and Drake for my style musically, at least my style at the moment. How they blend melody with rhythm has always attracted me to their music. When it comes to bars though, J Cole has to take that for me. Especially on his latest effort when he focused on strictly rapping, his tone and delivery definitely inspires me to raise the level of my own writing.
If one artist were to perform at your party, who would get the call?
It would definitely be Travis Scott, his shows are epic and I would want him to bring that energy to whatever party I’m at.
What is the best advice you’ve been given?
“If you can sell one, you can sell a million.” This is why I put so much emphasis on each follower I get, each one is special to me and it’s how I determine my goals for marketing. If I could touch one person, then I know I’ve made a difference and can make a difference to others as well. The end result is always the driving force, but what keeps me going is the journey. I definitely would not love what I do if I was only focused on the results.
How do you feel the Internet has impacted sharing your music?
I feel like the Internet has made it easier for thousands of artists to distribute their music and carve out a niche in the market. It is no different with me. The biggest difference between now and 10 or so years ago, is that I have to learn to be a better overall artist, including marketer, manager, and producer. The only downfall of the access the Internet provides is that I have to compete with those thousands of artists for a listener’s time, which is why part of the journey that I love is finding out how to market differently so that I can stand out. I document everything I learn in a blog on my website so that other artists can use some of my techniques as well. While I do have to compete with those artists, I think there is enough room for everyone at the table and I want to help anyway I can.
What is your favorite/best outlet to connect with your followers Instagram, Spotify, FB, Twitter, iTunes? How would you want them to follow?
I love that Spotify shows stats as it works as social proof for new listeners and I can gauge better how many people enjoy my music, but there’s no way to communicate with the people that follow me on there, so discord and my site is huge for me to connect to the people that support me. If you want to reach out my discord invite is on stonedproduce.art/community. I also update my site before anything else, so if you want to hear my mixtape Prelude to Seasons, you can also hear it there and you’ll be able to know when the next time I drop a song or project is.
What does the future hold for you?
I believe I will eventually make enough from music to quit my day job and spend more time with my daughter. My passion is music, but work takes the time that I could be creating. When I come home from work, it’s all about my baby girl. I have to support her how I can, but hopefully soon I can make enough from what I’m passionate about to be with her all the time and create!
Did I forget to ask something? Something you would like to say, that I did not address.
I’m currently working on an EP with German producer KevKov called Ambiguity. KevKov is a brilliant producer that tackles many different genres and makes my vocals sound great in front of different sounds. Ambiguity will have a mix of original songs and a couple of remixes from my Seasons EP. Our first single is already out with the Lenses (KevKov remix). I guarantee that we'll make you want to dance or vibe out. Be on the lookout for that in November.