Sabrina Francis
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Sabrina Francis

Saint George's, Saint George, Grenada | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Saint George's, Saint George, Grenada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band World Soul

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"Song by Grenadian writer earns finalist award in John Lennon Contest"

March 2, 2020, St. George’s, GRENADA: Just one week after the release of her second album “I Feel”, young Grenadian singer/songwriter Sabrina Francis has been awarded a prize as a finalist in the prestigious John Lennon Songwriting Contest in New York. The panel of judges which include well known artists such as Sean Paul, Jimmy Cliff and Natasha Bedingfield were impressed by Sabrina Francis’ song “I Feel”. Sabrina now has the distinction of being the first Grenadian achieving this result.


The John Lennon Songwriting Contest was created in 1997 by Yoko Ono in memory of her husband and world renowned musician John Lennon. For 23 years now, thousands of musicians have participated in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest. Being awarded is considered to be an important achievement in the curriculum of an artist.

Sabrina Francis is thrilled and flattered: “When we thought about submitting a song to the contest I wasn’t very keen on doing it, but, as an independent artist or singer/songwriter, looking for and seizing these opportunities are part of building a career.”

While there is no financial gain attached to this accomplishment, Sabrina will get some gear for her band…and hopefully some open ears within the music industry so that this success contributes to the continuing evolution of her career. - The New Today, Grenada


"Retune #7: Sabrina Francis + Minnie Birch + Tom Ryder"

Posted on: October 22nd, 2018 by Retune No Comments

We seem to say this every time, but these nights just keep on getting better. Sabrina Francis and her fabulous band joined us all the way from Grenada in the West Indies. The Caribbean four-piece were on a European tour and playing in Madrid and Paris, as well as the illustrious Bishop’s Stortford! Hemel Hempstead’s Minnie Birch was also on the bill, as was local lad and Retune founder Tom Ryder, playing an extended set to open the show.

Tom started with the usual introduction to Retune but added in some more details about his own mental health struggles, and how he used songwriting as a coping mechanism to make sense of what was going on in his head. He played four original songs including One Room At A Time and One For The Team, before calling up Greg Camburn on the tin whistle to play a brand new track – Partners In Crime.

We have seen some terrific acts at Retune, but Sabrina Francis’ set was one polished performance, from start to finish. The Grenadian singer’s songwriting is exemplary, and is really brought to life by her excellent band, led by musical director Dieter Burkhalter on keys. The arrangements are super tight and Sabrina’s vocal control is sublime. Her set included This Is Home, a song about Grenada that she has performed in the national stadium, and a newer track called Break that was very powerful and ended on an almost impossible high note that Sabrina delivered with total poise.

We haven’t had full on dancing at Retune yet, but there is no doubt that much of the audience wanted to, and there was some enthusiastic jigging in the seats going on, not too mention plenty of singing along!

The atmosphere of this show perfectly encapsulated what the Retune project is all about, and all three artists brought their unique and thoroughly interesting songs and stories to the table. - Retune


"Sabrina Francis performing at The Pure Grenada Music Festival"

Performing alongside Chrisette Michele, Morgan Heritage, Alison Hinds, Daley and Jah9, the Pure Grenada Music Festival features a lot of great performers. When attending the festival, I was pleased to make a new discovery, and that was Grenada’s own Sabrina Francis. Francis opened up the first night of the festival on the main stage, performing alongside keyboardist Dieter Burkhalter, guitarist/vocalist Alesia Aird, and drummer/vocalist Keane Jules. Francis — who has performed alongside Joss Stone and Mr Killa — and her group closed their set with “This Is Home,” which the Grenada Tourism Authority has used to promote Grenada on an international basis.

I had the pleasure of speaking Sabrina Francis shortly after her festival set, and highlights of our chat are below. More on Francis can be found online at www.sabrinafrancis.com.

I first wanted to ask you about the song you closed, “This Is Home.” What was the creative process like for that song?

Sabrina Francis: Actually, that song started as an idea from when I was 16 years old. Dieter [Burkhalter], the organizer of the Pure Grenada Music Festival, he likes music on the water. He had this idea for a concert and every artist had to sing a song about Grenada. I had to come up with a song, and I came up with “This Is Home.”

In a way it was accidental that one of the songs that defines you was written for a one-off event.

Sabrina Francis: (laughs) Yeah, it was written for that specific event. Then Grenadians liked it very much, so they used it for the rebranding of Grenada.

There was a mix of styles in what you played tonight…

Sabrina Francis: Yes…

But all of the music was acoustic-based. Are you yourself an instrumentalist?

Sabrina Francis: No, I’m learning to play guitar. Boy it’s so hard, I’ll tell you. But I’m learning and I would like to be able to sing and play.

So that’s an eventual goal for you?

Sabrina Francis: Yes it is, really. This year, actually.

How are you learning? From a book? From private lessons?

Sabrina Francis: I’m learning music theory first. My pianist is helping me with that. Then when that’s done, I’ll jump over to guitar and my guitarist [Alesia Aird] is really good, so she’ll help me. (laughs)

One of the most impressive things about you is your performance skills. A lot of people can sing, but they don’t know how to handle a microphone or command an audience. When is your development did you start to work on all of that?

Sabrina Francis: (laughs) Wow, well, I didn’t always know how to perform live. I’ve been singing on a stage with a mic for about three, four years. When I just started singing, I was like a stiff board onstage, so I had to bend and break to become what I am now. There’s still a lot of room for improvement, but I had to improve, which I did through a lot of criticism and just getting advice and being humble enough to take criticism and apply it. So I’m here, this way. (laughs)

What do the next few months look like for you? Are you performing at other festivals or live events?

Sabrina Francis: Well, we have just local live events, but in October we’re planning a trip to the U.K… Some small concerts and one of the places we’re going to play is The Tabernacle. It’s in London. I’m excited about that.

Do you have any long-term goals for your career? Or are you the sort of person that takes your career one day at a time?

Sabrina Francis: I am the kind of person that takes everything one day at a time, but the people around me are not. Every year I have to write down my musical intentions. I think the ultimate goal for my music is to make a comfortable living with my music. I would really like to play, be requested to different countries, travel and play for a living. When that happens, I will consider myself successful.

When you’re not busy with music, how do you like to spend your free time?

Sabrina Francis: Writing. (laughs)

Writing music? Stories?

Sabrina Francis: I try to write music. I dabble in poetry a bit, but don’t tell anybody that. (laughs) I like nature a lot, I like to spend a lot of time winding down. Also, because Grenada is small for the music scene, I have a day job. I’m really focused on music right now and everything else is fun.

So finally, Sabrina, any last words for the kids?

Sabrina Francis: For the kids? Stay in school, please, and do music. It helps make life so beautiful. - Darren Paltrowitz


"Grenada’s Sabrina Francis: “A Star Destined For Greatness”"

The World’s Famous Poet, Playwright William Shakespeare In The Twelfth Night Stated “Be Not Afraid Of Greatness. Some Are Born Great, Some Achieve Greatness, And Others Have Greatness Thrust Upon Them.” One Such Person Is Grenadian Very Own Sabrina Francis.

The “This Is Home” Singer Told RealFm “Music Has Been A Part Of Her Life From Since Birth But Has Been Doing It Professionally For The Past Two Years’’
According To Miss Francis Her Family, God And Swiss Pianist Dieter Burkhalter Are Some Of Her Greatest Inspiration.

Miss Francis Would Like To Spread Her Wings And Explore Instead Of Sticking To One Particular Genre Of Music As She Is Just Starting Out. But She Wants To Place Focus On The Singer Songwriter Stuff Where You Tell A Story And Connect With The Music Instead Of Just The Beat.
The Singer Told Realfm The Love, Support And The Way The Grenadian People Embraces Her Since Singing “This Is Home” The Song Used By The Grenada Tourism Authority To Showcase The Pure Grenada Brand Is Amazing And Applauds The Patriotism Of The Grenadian Culture To Support Their Own.

The Singer New “Album Think In Colour” Which Is Expected To Be Out In The Next Few Weeks, Hopefully In Time To Commemorate Grenada’s 42nd Independence Celebration. The Album Which Features Some Of Sabrina’s Original Songs Along With Songs From Her Sister Was All Done With Live Instruments.From Time To Time We Hear Local Artist Cry Out For Support From The Grenadian People. But According To Sabrina “She Don’t Have A Problem With The Grenadian Support And There’s Other Artistes Who She Is Impressed With Like Jeverson Ramirez And Tammy Baldeo Who All Do Good Music And Grenadian Support Them And She Feels Very Supported” She Believe Artistes Who Doesn’t Feel Supported “Should Go Back To The Drawing Board And Try See What Is Wrong Because Grenadians Are Not Crazy”
The Singer Who Did A Swiss Tour Last Year June 27-July 11 Says The Experience Was Amazing And The Swiss People Loved Her Music, But What Was Heart-Warming To Her Was The Support Of The Grenadian Community In Switzerland That Had The Grenadian Flag Dancing And Having A Good Time.

According To Sabrina “While There’s Nothing Wrong With Being Shy, She Advice Young And Upcoming Talents To Be Confident In What They Do And If They Are Not Confident Practise Until They Are And Work By Themselves Or With Help From Other On Their Craft And When They Are Ready Share With Others.” She Also Noted “Have Fun Making Music Or Else Don’t Do It Because You Will Be Spoiling The Effect”

With All The Love And Support The Artiste Received From The Grenadian Community And The Switzerland People Another Swiss Tour Is In The Making Says Swiss Pianist Dieter Burkhalter.

Every Now And Then, God Gifts The World A Quintessence Of Amazing Vocal: A Voice So Powerful It Hits The Highest Notes With Cheeky Ease, And Flows With Natural Tone That Sprouts Goose Bumps On Even The Toughest Hide.
Sabrina Francis Is That Gift To Grenada And The World. She’s A Real Pot Of Musical Treasure, Whose Talent Must Be Put On The World’s Musical Stage For All To Hear.

We Here At Real Fm Grenada Wishes Miss Francis Tremendous Success On Her Journey. - Real FM


"Sabrina Francis im Göttinger Apex"

Göttingen
Sie gilt als Naturtalent und singt nach eigener Aussage seit ihrer frühesten Kindheit. Unterstützt wird Francis dabei auch von ihrer Mutter, die selbst als Sängerin und Songschreiberin aktiv ist. Mit 17 Jahren trifft Francis den Schweizer Musiker Dieter Burkhalter. Aus der Begegnung wird eine enge Zusammenarbeit, in die Burkhalter sich als Pianist, Arrangeur, Mentor und Manager einbringt. Francis’ Band trägt den vielsagenden Namen „For the love of music“. Mit der jungen Gitarristin Alesia Aird und dem Multitalent und Schlagzeuger Keane Jules hat sie neben Burghalter zwei weitere kongeniale Partner gefunden.

Ihre kleine Europa-Tour, die sie im Apex beginnt, führt die Band weiter über die Schweiz nach Italien und Österreich. Im Gepäck haben sie ihr Debüt-Album „Think in colour“, von dem sie schon mehr als 1000 Exemplare auf Grenada verkauft hätten, was für die kleine Insel sehr viel sei, verkündet Francis stolz. Farbenfroh ist nicht nur der lange Umhang der Sängerin, sondern ihr ganzer Auftritt, den sie mit dem Song „Colour me“ beginnt.


In dem Video zum Song „Echo“ scheint Francis unter der Decke zu schweben. Das Lied bezeichnet sie als eine Art Gebet. Überhaupt scheint Spiritualität eine große Rolle in ihren Texten zu spielen. Sehr tragend schwebt auch ihre kraftvolle, variable Stimme über der souligen, perkussiven Musik. Auf der Bühne verzichten die Musiker nahezu auf jeglichen Einsatz von Elektronik und schaffen so einen fast rein akustischen, sehr organischen Klang.

Die Kompositionen werden eindeutig von Francis’ beeindruckender Stimme getragen, während E-Piano, Gitarre und Schlagzeug eher zurückhaltend agieren und den Liedern ein passendes, sehr rhythmisches Kleid geben. Dass ihre Musik dabei auch afrikanische Züge trägt, verwundert nicht. Die Einwohner Grenadas stammen zu mehr als 95 Prozent ganz oder teilweise von Afrikanern ab, die von europäischen Kolonialisten zur Sklavenarbeit auf die Insel verschleppt wurden.

„And I, I wanna rule my destiny“ singt Francis immer wieder im Refrain des gleichnamigen Titels und huldigt mit dem Song dem in Jamaika geborenen und wegen Drogenhandels derzeit inhaftierten Reggae-Musiker Buju Banton. „Bless my mother“ stimmt sie mit dunkler Stimme an. Das Stück entwickelt einen ganz eigenen Spannungsbogen, von afrikanischer Djembe und sphärischen Keyboardteppichen untermalt.

Francis ist überrascht, dass sich die Besucher während der Stücke so still verhalten. Mit an Geschwindigkeit zunehmenden Rhythmen, Wechselgesang und rollenden E-Piano-Klängen zu Francis’ ausgelassenen Tanzeinlagen feiern die Musiker im Laufe des zweiten Sets ihre ganz eigene kleine Party auf der Bühne und zünden dazu ein klangliches Feuerwerk.

„The crowd“, geschrieben von ihrer jüngeren Schwester, kündigt Francis als den letzten Song an. Aber das begeisterte Publikum ruft zu rhythmischem Klatschen nach Zugaben.

Die bekommt es auch mit „Free fallin´“, einem Tribute an den kürzlich verstorbenen US-Musiker Tom Petty und dem „Redemption Song“ von Bob Marley. Nach einem durchweg stimmungsvollen Konzert hält Francis nur zur Pianobegleitung mit Heinrich Heines „Loreleylied“ noch eine ganz besondere Überraschung bereit. - Jörg Linnhoff


Discography

I FEEL

  • I'm Awake
  • Karma Won't Forgive Us
  • Carry On
  • Still A Ways To Go
  • I Feel
  • Free
  • Run
  • Mama Say
  • Papamani
  • Inevitable
Release 22.2.2020
Recorded at Mount Agnes Studio,  Grenada by Hervin Hood
Mixed by Samuel Baur (Audiokonzept)

Sabrina Francis - Vocals
Dieter Burkhalter - Keyboards
Beda Mächler - Guitars
Frank Mavhimira - Guitars
Keane Jules - Bass
Mamadou Sarr - Percussion
Zorina Andel - Vocals
Young Mbazo - Vocals

THINK IN COLOUR
  • Echo
  • Remember
  • Wide Open
  • Sugar In Your Coffee
  • Colour Me 
  • Make Up
  • See That
  • Suffocate
  • This Is Home
  • Think In Colour
Release February 2016
Recorded in Grenada by Samuel Baur (Audiokonzept)

Sabrina Francis - Vocals
Dieter Burkhalter - Keyboards
Jeremy Hector - Guitars
Keane Jules - Bass
Samuel Baur Drums/Percussion

Photos

Bio

I am a West Indie Soul singer from Grenada. My music is a distinctive brew of emotions and stories told with the conviction of a young woman experiencing her best life but also working really hard to achieve true inner peace. Music is a refuge and the tool I use to spread my message of hope, strength and the importance of mental health.

Band Members