London-based Franklin is setting the beats high within the DJ world as he becomes one to watch for his astounding remixes and unique productions.
Emerging onto the scene with his standout collaboration with Nina Nesbitt and John Gibbons; Franklin aka Ben Duncombe has gone on to surpass millions of streams and is continuing to show off his underground talent.
Since his work with Nile Rodgers and Cedric Gervais, Franklin has been non-stop busy but lucky for us, we caught up with the rising talent to ask about how it all started, his recent work and everything in between.
Firstly, as the first month of the new year, how excited are you for 2021 and do you have some big plans up your sleeve for this year?
Hi guys! Naturally, I’m very excited for 2021 and to see how it plays out. Currently working on more music than I ever have before for myself, collaborations and working for other Artists/DJs so I can’t complain.
The main talking before 2020 was your collaboration with Nile Rodgers and Cederic Gervais for 'Everybody Dance'. What was that experience like for you as a rising artist and, what was the key thing you learnt from it?
It’s been mad. I’d rarely dream of working with such global names, especially a musical legend in Nile Rodgers. I took away tonnes from working with them both. I think, learning to stay objective and on course with whatever you’re wanting to achieve was a key thing I took away from them. I also learnt that working on a song with people on a different continent during a global pandemic isn’t impossible like I’d originally thought.
You made your debut back in 2018 with your remix of 'Song About You' - what has been the past three to four years been like for you?
I feel like since then, I’ve kept learning and learning. It feels great to look back at that first Mike Posner remix and see how far I’ve come since then to now in my career and general, life. Long may it continue.
Personally, what influenced you to start djing and producing music and did you always see yourself standing where you are now?
I first began producing music when I was 15 because I wanted to learn how the beats were made in Drake's album Take Care. I was amazed by songs like ‘Headlines’ and ‘The Motto’ and figured it was something I had to try. Wanting to become a DJ for me is as cliché as it comes. I went to my first music festival with some friends and, fell in love with house music for the first time. Then realised what could be better than getting to travel the world whilst playing amazing, music in some of the greatest, environments you’ll ever be in? And that was that haha.
One of your highest moment was your collaboration with Nina Nesbitt and John Gibbons which went number one on the dance chart - overall what was that moment like for you as you were breaking into the music scene?
It was a weird one for sure simply because it all happened so fast. It was probably the first piece of work I’d been asked to help produce for someone else and, we were finishing it up in November so, we were working at it relentlessly. We put it out and, I think a week later it was BBC Radio 2’s record of the week and shot up to number 1 on the dance chart right up till Christmas. It was completely, mind-blowing seeing my name amongst and above some super heavyweight names that I’d only ever dream of being near!
You've already got many collaborations under your belt, but who do you hope to work with next and why?
I don’t think I could pin it down to just one person or act as the next person I have to work with. I’m just more than happy to be working with great musicians and seeing what comes of it! If I had to pick one name that I’ve always wanted to work with, you’d have to flip a coin between Calvin Harris and Martin Garrix.
Throughout your music journey, what's been the most rewarding outcome and what have you found the most challenging?
It has to be releasing 'Everybody Dance' with Cedric and Nile. It’s still hard for me to believe I did that. Early on in my career, dealing with the highs and lows was a lot tougher than I imagined. It felt like when it rained, it truly, poured in this industry but, now I’ve learnt to just accept it, and move on making more music.
With music in the works, how excited are you to perform them and tour the world?
It’s the dream. As I said earlier, what could be more incredible than touring the world performing your music? I’m just endlessly hoping that we can get back to touring and going to our favourite shows and festivals sooner rather than later!!
Throughout the ranks of the industry, what rising artists do you think we should be listening to?
There's genuinely so many. To name a couple that I’m enjoying lately includes Welshy and HARLEE but, honestly, there are pages full more.
Finally, with the future in your hands, what is your dream?
I have so many things that I dream of doing in my career and in general but, I think the main thing is to be still lucky enough to do this ‘job’ for a living for many more years to come. Especially now in the world when many are suffering, I realise how lucky and thankful I should be and am for being able to do what I do every day. So, I guess right now, the dream is a reality for me and, if my music can provide some form of escapism for people during these times, then it’s even better than that.