Francesco Yates: Prince of the Millenials
Francesco Yates and his passion for R&B are bringing heart and soul back to pop music. He's on a nationwide tour supporting Jess Glynne, he works with Pharrell, and he just turned 20. We got to catch up with the Toronto native after a sold out show in New York City.
You celebrated your 20th birthday by releasing a self-titled EP. How does it feel?
Great! My goal with this EP is to create resonance within the music community. I just want to play music at the highest level that I can and be as good as I can be.
You just put on a great show! The crowd was entertained and you handled some technical difficulty like a pro.
It's more about entertainment than a perfect piece of music. There are far more gifted artists than Michael Jackson, but when it comes to entertainment - he's it. I just try to stay engaged with the crowd.
I was hoping to hear your acoustic cover of Kendrick Lamar's Swimming Pools tonight.
I'm still working on perfecting it for the stage. The next cover I'm working on is a version of Shawn Mendes's Stitches.
When I first heard Change the Channel, it reminded me of Pharrell back when he was with N.E.R.D. Then I learned that you guys worked together on the track. How did you hook up with him?
Connections - I'm happy the music industry brought us together. Pharrell taught me how to stop overthinking and just create.
How did he get you to stop overthinking?
It's his presence. When you're in a room with him, the vibe is just incredible.
I’m sure you had people that didn’t support your growth as an artist and tried to get in the way of your success. How did you persevere to get here today?
There are still people trying to get in my way, but this line of work weeds out the weak. The madness of the music industry can break you down.
Survival of the fittest?
Survival of the strongest…mentally. You have to be strong at your core.
Are you strong at your core?
I’m trying to be.
What other projects are you working on now?
I’m creating a mix tape. I’m taking what I’ve learned from being in the studio over the years – with so many talented people – and applying what I’ve learned. It’s just me in my basement, in my comfort zone, making music.
Check out Francesco's latest single - Change the Channel