A Second Change... Frances Black

By Michéal Coughlan
From Rí-Rá

"It's like starting all over again - like getting a second chance" - Frances Black describing her new album. She signed to Sony Ireland (six album deal) and has recorded a new album 'Don't Get Me Wrong' which will be available here in September. Through this album Frances hopes to establish herself in the UK. I met Frances at the offices of her PR people. We meet on the stairs - she dressed in a black suit with blonde hair and warm blue eyes. She is chatty and friendly in a very Irish kind of way.

Frances made a conscious decision to change her direction musically after losing her voice and was even considering getting out of the music business despite three successful albums in Ireland. "I needed to change for myself because I was cracking up with the other stuff," she admits. Her previous music served it's purpose and it was what she wanted to do at the time. Frances was fed up with the material and each of the albums began sounding the same to her: "I was not really getting away from it". Her second last album 'Sky Road' did well in Ireland: "I did not like the album, I did not put my heart and soul into that album and it did not deserve to do so well." The new album is produced by Declan Synott who has worked with per famous sibling, Mary. He was very careful not to give Frances the Mary Black treatment. Through working with Declan she got her voice and her confidence back. "He made me feel comfortable, he was very supportive. It was a huge challenge for him as well," says Frances. They sifted through a lot of material before finally settling on the songs for the new album. "I still have held on to a bit of me, Frances Black, and a lot of the songs would have something that I would have lived." Singing is a form of therapy for Frances, "I can get rid of emotion through a song, it's a lovely feeling when you can get it all out."

Frances is very proud of sister Mary and says that Mary's international stardom does not bother her. It could never be anything like Mary because I do not have the same power in my voice, Mary is one of the best singers around," declares Frances modestly. She describes her own voice as being more passionate, "I put more feeling into a song because I can't put the power in." She is really happy with her new album. "I put my heart and soul into it and if it does not do well then I'll have to deal "with that."

Frances Black begins an extensive UK tour in September so watch out for some London dates.