Francis Jocky
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Francis Jocky

Band Pop Singer/Songwriter

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Sep
18
Francis Jocky @ Olympia Hall

Paris, Not Applicable, France

Paris, Not Applicable, France

Jul
12
Francis Jocky @ Festival Tout le monde chante

Villefranche de Rouergon, Not Applicable, France

Villefranche de Rouergon, Not Applicable, France

Mar
21
Francis Jocky @ Festival Tout le Monde Chante

Paris, New York, USA

Paris, New York, USA

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


"Francis, you're a star" - Bono U2

"Amazing, you sond like Otis Redding"
- Stevie Wonder - while performing Otis Redding songs with Francis Jocky

"Jocky is a sort of postmodern soul man, no matter what part of the world it comes from and the resultant blend
is both melodic and grooving, with hooks to please almost any ear."
Phil Freeman
Global Rhythm Magazine

Francis Jocky plays a brilliant mixture of Soul, Rhythm and Blues, and Jazz with skill and emotional honesty.
Those qualities are rare enough in popular music they should be celebrated and encouraged whenever they are encountered.
Richard Marcus
Bogcritics


"Those with an adventurous palate might want to arrive earlier to hear Jocky[his music] combines acoustics with electronic flourishes for a worldly yet melodic sound."
Sarah Rodman
Boston Herald

"Jocky's voice, like Al Jarreau's, is very groovy and lively, infused with instruments in very technological tones he passes smoothly from soul to world music, from blues to ballad, and from synthesizer to simple guitar. Francis Jocky is an animal on stage with an expressive energy, capable of heating up a room in no time at all. He is truly amazing!"
Maurice Achard
Le Parisien

"Mr Pain brandishes an expressive medley of jazz, funk, soul, fun and contemplative tempos, and tangible lyrical themes that will leave you reeling.
Blown away by the pieces "How can I stand", "Sera" and "Song of Freedom" I hope, perhaps selfishly, that he wil constantly find inspiration and cause to cry out. With this incredible project, Pain is beautiful.
The Celebrity Cafe


"Like a funkier Cat Stevens or a more direct Dave Matthews, Cameroon native Francis Jocky exudes sweet, sunny charm as he gets to the heart of the matter. A true pleasure to discover
Star Polish-Critics Corner

"absolutely fabulous music, which really is no surprise, when you read up on his musical pedigree. 2006 is going to be a good year for music if this album is anything to go by. He's performed with Stevie Wonder and U2, quite a feat.
Indie Launchpad

"Altogether, the songs contained in this album present an expressive voice which occasionally reminds one of Al Jarreau. We love this record."
Jean-Luc Wachtshausen
Le Figaro

"Francis Jocky has a voice that is quite unique, something that I would rather not compare to anyone. His songs are special and his French-Cameroon roots come out in a vibrant and inspired way."
A&R Online

He's like dynamite on stage!
Arielle Buteaux
France Musique
- various


He should have been the first performer at Johnny Hallyday’s "Parc de princes" concert because of his magnificent stage presence. additionally, he should have won the "Star academy's" final, because his voice is far superior to other performers whose popularity is only temporary. this french-cameroonian artist named Francis Jocky is more than promising. on his recently produced solo album, Jocky’s voice, like Al Jarreau’s, is very groovy and lively, infused with instruments in very technological tones. Francis Jocky does everything. not only did he compose and write the twelve songs of the album, entitled "Mister pain", he also passes smoothly from soul to world music, from blues to ballad, and from synthesizer to simple guitar, resulting from experiences gained while working with different musicians, such as Jacques Higelin and the former leader of "Yes", Jon Anderson. while listening to songs on this album, most notably Mister Pain, My life or We are, one starts to hum the tonic melodies, as if struck by a sudden desire to dance. this music is ideal entertainment in these difficult times. not bad for a beginner and not surprising either, Francis Jocky is an animal on stage with an expressive energy, capable of heating up a room in no time at all. he is truly amazing ! - Le Parisien - Maurice Achard


- Too long nestled in the safe, but stifling cocoon of formulaic compositions, the unadventurous, subdued ear will be jolted at first introduction to Francis Jocky. Then, quickly recovering from the sensory ambush, it will perk up, allowing the beauty perceived to soak into the soul. Described as the synergy of traits distinctly Stevie Wonder, uniquely Bob Marley, noticeably Ben Harper and markedly Seal, the voice of “Mr. Pain” is undeniably original and all Francis Jocky.

Birthed and nurtured in native Douala-Cameron, and honed in France, Francis Jocky’s passion for music and skilled craftsmanship reap from a duality of rhythmic and cultural influences while drinking from a myriad of musical influences. Incorporating into his sound the jazz of Miles Davis and Thelonius Monk, and the New Orleans R&B/folk of Randy Newman, Francis Jocky’s brand of innovation has elicited the praise of Sting and Bono, and has been sought after by artists such as Jon Anderson of the rock band Yes and Stevie Wonder. After one listen to this solo debut, you too will find something to love.

“Mr. Pain” brandishes an expressive medley of jazz, funk, soul, fun and contemplative tempos, and tangible lyrical themes that will leave you reeling. “There are so many things that make you want to scream everyday. You need to express them,” says Jocky of his songs about love, humanity, and the mysterious, unpredictable world we inhabit. Blown away by the pieces “How Can I Stand,” “Sera” and “Song of Freedom” I hope, perhaps selfishly, that he will constantly find inspiration and cause to cry out. With this incredible project, pain is beautiful.

Reviewer: C. Lizaire, 05/07/06
Reviewer's Rating: 8.5
Reader's Rating: 9.67

- Celebrity Cafe


FRANCIS JOCKY : "MISTER PAIN"

Le Figaro
This french-cameroonian singer, pianist and guitarist, had developed his craft by performing at critical nightclubs such as the "sinaola" in paris. after performing with Jacques Higelin for a brief period as a pianist and meeting with the leader of "YES", Jon Anderson, with whom he formed a band called "know", Francis Jocky thrusts himself into the adventure of his first solo album. he had the chance to show off his eclectic style, which varies from blues to ballade, soul to funk, and synthesizer to piano, in twelve unique songs which he composed and produced by himself, for example, my life, higher love, and We are. Altogether, the songs contained in this album present an expressive voice which occasionally reminds one of Al Jarreau.


"LE FIGARO" NEWSPAPER", Jean Luc Wachtshausen
- Le Figaro


Something inside so strong

Our Rating: 72 out of 100

Where Paris´ leading daily newspaper, Le Parisien, hears ´Al Jarreau´s successor´, my perhaps less finely-tuned lugholes suggest the new Labi Siffre. It´s Jocky´s sweet, soulful and at-times-Eiffel-Tower-high voice which elicits the comparison, along with his pop/soul leanings. Anyway, it´s a world away in sound from his birthplace - Douala, Cameroon - with only the closing verse of ´So Sad´ sung in African rather than English tongue.

Francis left West Africa for France aged 15, where he and his brother formed Class with friend Patrick Dage. Later Jocky linked up with Yes´ lead singer Jon Anderson, recording under the Know monicker. Whilst Francis enjoyed collaborating in both groups, he, in his own words, "learned that you have to do it yourself to have real control." And so, at the ripe old age of 36, comes Jocky´s debut album. This is one horse he´s riding alone. No need for a photo finish, Francis triumphs with Mr Pain. - MusicShopper - Matthew Hirtes


It's funny how an artist is virtually anonymous and then suddenly you hear them everywhere. Within a day of hearing Francis Jocky for the first time, I heard him on various other podcasts and so the snowball begins. I've heard Francis compared with Seal, he of Kiss from a Rose fame, but I just don't hear it, Francis has a much earthier sound, rather than that of high production pop. If I had to pick a singer to compare Francis with, it would be more Issac Hayes. However I do still hear an incredible artist with an incredible album.

The album opens with the title track, Mr Pain and the album just builds from there. A special mention has to be made of the absolutely fabulous music, which really is no surprise, when you read up on his musical pedigree. After his studies at the Universities Paris V and La Sorbonne, where he achieved his doctorate, he decided to devote himself entirely to his music, later forming a partnership with Jon Anderson, lead singer of YES and releasing an album as Know. He's also performed with Stevie Wonder and U2, that's quite a feat.

At first hearing Francis sing, it's a shock to the system, as the music is preparing you for something quite different, but who cares, it works and very well indeed. With 12 tracks on the album, you can hear an incredibly diverse range of music. Every song is well crafted, with some very lush music. Standout tracks for me are Mr Pain, Higher Love and We Are.

Conclusion : This is such an amazing album, that if it was reviewed last year, would cerainly have been in my top 5 for the year. 2006 is going to be a good year for music if this album is anything to go by.
- Indie Launchpad


A&R Online recommends Francis Jocky

It took me a minute to get into this project but now I happen to think it is quite amazing. But personally I don't like all those written references to Al Jarreau I read in his press kit, I think this is something else entirely. Francis Jocky has a voice that is quite unique, something that I would rather not compare to anyone. His songs are special and his French-Cameroon roots come out in a vibrant and inspired way.
- A&R Online


Starpolish "critics corner"

“Like you” may scan as overly simple just to read the lyric sheet, but in that simplicity lies its charm as a song. like a funkier Cat Stevens or a more direct Dave Matthews, Cameroon native Francis Jocky exudes sweet, sunny charm as he gets to the heart of the matter. a brisk piano and acoustic guitar combo shuffles along beside him as if on a leisurely country day trip.
- Starpolish - Joseph McCombs


With good chunks of Africa once being French colonies it's no wonder that France, specifically Paris, has become a Mecca for Francophone Africans looking to establish a singing career. From countries like Senegal, Algeria, and the Cameroon come performers who bring their own countries unique sounds to combine with the musical traditions of France and other Western countries.

The newest arrival to North American shores via the Africa France link is originally from Douala-Cameroon. He was only fifteen when he moved to France to begin his quest to become a professional musician. At the same time he also attended school and as well as honing his musical skills he received a doctorate from the Sorbonne.

He first caught the music industry's attention when he and his brother Bobby formed the band Class. They were signed to a French label and produced an album that was heavily promoted. He received international attention when Jon Anderson, lead singer of Yes, approached him about working together. In 1998 Francis and Jon Anderson formed the band Know and released the disc The More You Know

Since then he has worked on a variety of projects with people including Bono and Stevie Wonder. Mr. Pain, his new release, marks the first time he has recorded a disc made up of entirely his own music. Not only did he write and perform all the songs but he also produced the album, so what you hear on this disc is his music, as he wants it
Francis Jocky Mr. Pain album cover
It would be easy to say Francis Jocky is an R&B /Soul musician and not lie, but it wouldn't draw a complete picture of the man's abilities or his scope as a musician. For sake of comparison the first two artists that sprang to mind as I listened to Mr. Pain were Joan Armatrading and Nina Simone. As I listened further I realized those similarities resulted from the fact they all approach their music in the same manner.

This is very much heart on the sleeve stuff, but not in the sentimental and saccharine style that prevails in pop music today. This is real and heartfelt stuff, whether he's talking about the state of the world or interpersonal relationships. What separates him from the general pool of pop music schlock is his ability to avoid cliché in his lyrics and integrate more than just the regular pop arrangements into his songs.

He uses simplicity of lyric and repetition to emphasis a point rather than melodramatically emoting in a vocal range well beyond comfort for himself and his listener. On the song "Tell Me Why", which questions the values of people who would let children starve to death while they seek personal fortunes, the lines "Tell me why, tell me why, tell me why" are followed by "must they cry, must they cry, must they cry." The way they are sung elevates them beyond their simple appearance on paper and pulls the listener into the depths of the questioner's despair and frustration.

Of course the major reason those lyrics work so well is the central feature of Mr Jocky's arsenal as a performer; his voice. Highly trained, with superb control, he can change his vocal expression with the ease that most other performers change costumes. From soft as velvet expressions of love, pleas for understanding, to declamations of intent he is equally comfortable.
Francis Jocky In Concert
Musically he diverges from the norm with his near jazz like arrangements that allow for a far greater range of expression than what is considered Soul or Rhythm and Blues these days. Instead of either mellow funk or electro-orchestrated melodrama his music has real emotional body. Electronics are utilized but as augmentation and accentuation to what has been created by the band.

Francis himself is a gifted keyboard player, having started playing piano when he was twelve, so his own contributions extend beyond just being the vocalist in the band. On various tracks he can be found playing percussion, keyboards, guitar, and drums. Being a multitalented instrumentalist obviously is an asset for him when he is composing his songs. Their musical complexity reflects his understanding of how he can utilize various instruments to achieve the effects he desires.

For those of you who are used to performers like Baaba Maal and other African musicians the music of Francis Jocky may come as a surprise, but consider he has been living and working in Europe since he was fifteen, and with Western influenced musicians for the entirety of his professional career. His African heritage can be heard in some of the percussion techniques utilized on songs, and some of his vocal styling.

Quite frankly though that shouldn't be a factor in your decision making process about whether to buy this CD anyway. Music isn't judged on the performer's adherence to our preconceived notions of what people should or shouldn't sound like. Francis Jocky plays a brilliant mixture of Soul, Rhythm and Blues, and Jazz with skill and emotional honesty.

Those qualities are rare enough i - Blogcritics - Richard Marcus


Francis Jocky isn’t as well known as he
probably should be. He’s collaborated
with Jon Anderson of Yes – the two
formed a band called Know and
released an under-publicized CD, The
More You Know, on Eagle Rock in
1998 – and performed live with Stevie
Wonder. And somewhere between
those two poles of soul and
progressive rock, with the pulsing
rhythms of his native Cameroon, is
where his first solo album falls. Jocky
is a sort of postmodern soul man,
dipping into any sound that appeals to
him, no matter what part of the world
it comes from, and the resultant blend
is both melodic and grooving, with
hooks to please almost any ear. Song
titles like “Higher Love” and “Song Of
Freedom” give the game away – he’s
not necessarily trying to shatter
musical boundaries as much as
demonstrate the myriad ways one can
create an upbeat, thoughtful pop-soul
song suite.

Phil Freeman
Global Rhythm Magazine - Global Rhythm Magazine, Phil Freeman


Discography

The following songs from the album "Mr Pain" are getting airplay:

"Mr Pain"
"Higher Love"
"Song of Freedom"
"Like You"
"My life"
"Sera"
"Down Slow"
"Tell me Why"
"We are"
"So Sad"
Airplay on college radios throughout USA and Canda,
FIP Radio, RFI, France Musique, France Inter and Radio NEO in France, Japan, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Korea, and various podcasts world-wide

Photos

Bio

Francis Jocky is one of the most exciting songwriters in the modern music scene. His music is a mellow blend of fantastic pop songwriting, international sounds and flavors, and soulful instrumentation. From Africa to France to the American stage, Francis Jocky is an artist with universal appeal.

Francis Jocky was born in Douala-Cameroon, and was the third of four children. Francis has always felt that his family position not the oldest, not the youngest, or the only girl like his older sister contributed to his love of music. From an early age Francis learned to express himself through songs and by the age of 12 he was already writing original songs.

Francis started playing piano when he was still in Cameroon, participating in school bands and childhood contests. At the age of fifteen he moved to France and before long Francis was caught up in the exciting French music scene. Francis and his brother Bobby started the band "Class" with their friend Patrick Dage and were immediately signed to a French label. Though playing with "Class" was a good education for Francis, he began to realize that what he really wanted was to have complete control over the process, the writing, everything. While Francis was busy promoting "Class" he was making plans to form his own label.

While playing in Monte Carlo, earning money to fund the formation of his own record label, Francis was approached by Jon Anderson, lead singer of "Yes" Anderson offered Francis a spot as the 2nd keyboardist for a "Yes" world tour but after hearing some of Francis' own compositions, Anderson was impressed by Jocky's skills and proposed that the two of them form their own band. Jocky and Anderson formed "Know" and were signed by Eagle Rock Entertainment. Francis composed fourteen of the songs that became part of "Know's" critically acclaimed album "The More You Know". Playing with Jon Anderson was a good experience, but Anderson's attention was split by a "Yes" tour and Know was under-promoted. "Again, I learned that you have to do it yourself to have real control" says Jocky.

Francis kept busy performing at "A Tribute to Sting" and playing his own compositions in clubs across France. Few knew how to classify the music he was trying to make. Francis's influences span the spectrum from Jackson Browne, Randy Newman and Motown greats like Stevie Wonder and Al Jarreau to jazz Masters like Miles Davis and Thelonius Monk. Francis wanted to make music that wasn't constrained by genre classifications, with the sensibilities of jazz the accessibility of pop and the mellow grooves of soul and funk.
Over the next few years Francis participated in many high profile concerts. Further more he was involved in the 2000 and 2005 MIDEM music conference in Cannes / France and in 2003 he put together his current band and was even fortunate enough to sing with Stevie Wonder while in Monte Carlo. The response of those shows was huge and Paris media hailed him as "The New Sensation." In late 2003, Francis was invited to the Nemo Music Festival around the Boston Music Awards. "I was impressed with the reaction of the audience," he says, "for me it was huge." In 2004, Francis was approached by Eagle Rock Records to produce an album using South African music enhanced with Modern production. Francis took the producers role, taking the name of "Living Souls " for the project. When the album, "Ambient Africa " was released, it received critical praise from the worldwide media.

Now, having worked in the back and fore of the music industry, Francis has released his first solo album, "Mr. Pain". Each of the twelve tracks on Jocky's debut contain the lessons and experience he has learned from his travels through the music world tempered by his innate sense of harmony and melody. As a solo artist, Francis is unbound by the expectations of his producers and is free to explore what he calls the future of music; the blend of styles, genres, and sounds.

"I play music because I have something to say," Francis says, "there are so many things that make you want to scream every day. You need to express them". Francis Jocky may approach music from a standpoint of self expression but he is acutely aware of the public nature of the art. "We have to find a balance," he says, "between what we want to say and the beauty of this art we all cherish".

Mr. Pain is available at iTunes, cdbaby.com and www.francisjocky.com.

www.myspace.com/francisjocky
www.francisjocky.com