From a combination of scorching life events, social transformation, pandemic lockdown, and personal epiphany, David Franz has emerged, like a snake too big for its skin, from behind the producer’s console to the front of the stage. Years of unlocking the creative genius of other artists as a co-writer, producer and record label head has led to the evolution and development of his own artist persona.
Having a voracious appetite for many different genres of music, Franz founded not one but two record labels. Underground Sun covers a wide-ranging catalog of genres but all have a foundation in soul music. R&B, rock, hip-hop, blues, folk, world, electronic and jazz all find a home on Underground Sun. Underground Sol, co-founded with DJ/producer/entrepreneur Justin Paul, is devoted solely to electronic music and the myriad genres within that broad label. Both labels embrace and cultivate diversity and inclusivity, knowing these are not only at the core of a thriving music industry but also imperative to connecting and empathizing with all of humanity. Both Underground Sun and Underground Sol have a strong legacy of launching musicians from under-represented demographics into solid music careers.
Today Franz has released “My Greatest Enemy,” which will be located on the debut album To The Unknown. Punched with Cali desert rock, Franz incorporated various degrees of soul and blues to the track. The spirit of the desert blasts from start to finish with effortless ease. Here is Franz on the single: “The Covid lockdown forced us to be alone with our thoughts more than usual, which meant for many that we had to deal with our negative inner voice head-on. That voice is powered only by our own minds. After listening to it too much and battling it daily and nightly, I decided to acknowledge that voice and the power it has, and then to take control and shut it down. Now, when it wants to say something nasty about me, I say “nope, your voice isn’t welcome here.” Not that I’ve mastered this process. It’s a practice, and I’m practicing saying “shut up” to my inner critic everyday. The song ‘My Greatest Enemy’ is about battling our own self-talk, with the intention of lessening it at first and ultimately turning it off completely. The world will be a lot nicer place when we stop beating ourselves up.”
Although David is himself a multi-instrumentalist and wears many hats on To The Unknown, joining him are some top-drawer musicians. GRAMMY-nominated producer Will Robertson (John Mayer, Sean Mullins et al.) plays guitar and keys and Jesse Siebenberg (Supertramp, Lady Gaga et al.) also plays guitar and keyboard. Daniel Wright (Radio Skies, Mia Dyson et al) joins on bass, Tim Arlon (Sting, Wilco, TD Lind) plays organ and Brendan Willing James (Grizfolk) plays baritone guitar. Erin “Syd” Sidney (Radio Skies, The Pullmen) and Fernando Jaramillo (Nick Carter, Beto Cuevas et al) are on drums. The album was engineered and mixed in Carbonite Sound studio in Ojai, CA by the formidable Jason Mariani, and mastered at The Bakery in Culver City, CA by Grammy-winning mastering engineer Eric Boulanger.