Reserved, spontaneous, humble yet outspoken are some of the words music industry giants use to describe Defranco. But who is he as a recording artist? He started his professional music career in 2006 when he entered the Jamaican talent show ‘Rising Stars’ and although he did not win, he was selected for the Kingston top ten from amongst the two thousand six hundred (2600) persons that had entered that year. Later in 2009 he was called to perform on the prestigious annual staging of the Jazz and Blues festival stage.
The audience and organizers were so elated by his vocal strength and lyrical content that he was recalled later that night to perform a second time. Media houses were excited to interview the medium height, well dressed, dark complexion guy with a cutting edge voice. Born into a poor family in the early 80’s as Dwayne Francis, he was taught the foundation and importance of love by his grandmother and great grandmother. His lyrics are drawn from situations surrounding family, lovers, social commentaries, and other personal experiences.
It was these situations that tackled his intelligence for years, and which fuelled his determination to pursue a career in the Jamaica Defence Force, starting from the cadet group while in high school. Although he always had a gift to sing and play the drums, he aptly neglected to sing solo, just a regular choir member and drummer at church, but little did he know.
Finally, having finished school with his life is going as planned, he was closer to becoming a member of the Jamaica Defence Force. After a hard day’s work he would relax by listening to mainly R&B music. He said, ‘My mind began to think freely towards writing and funny enough my catalog of demos started. Is it at all possible that my calling is to be a recording artist?’ If that’s the case he was convinced he had to somewhat incline himself to the history and cry of his ancestors and spiritual beliefs, adapt to the roots of his heritage, Reggae.
The transition was tedious until he began to understand more about himself. Now a listener of Disco, Reggae, and old hits he fell in love with Richie Spice, Bob Marley, Barrington Levi, Tarrus Riley, and Dennis Brown. As time passed he was no longer a shy guy, instead, he was publicly singing and writing songs with his own style which he calls ”Reggae Blues.”
Defranco reminisced, “In 2009 I met Dean Fraser and had the opportunity to record my first single, I’ll Give You for his label Cannon Records. I knew there and then that I had some talent as this would not have been happening. Finally I heard my voice on the radio stations in Jamaica then calls from abroad kept coming in, now I am totally convinced that I actually can sing. (chuckle). Since then I have done other recordings at Tuff Gong & Grafton studios, performed at live music venues around the island of Jamaica, done tribute shows to artists and a few corporate office parties. These events gave birth to ‘‘Change,” my second single released in late 2010 by Marshall Arts records and airplay has extended to Africa.
The progress of Defranco has an artist, slowed down in 2011 mainly becasue of lack of directed promotion. However this did not deter him from making good music and staying focus on his career, goals and objectives.
March 2012 saw the release of a sampler compilation from Defranco consisting of (2) songs distributed by Reggae Release to radio stations, disc jocks, sound system etc, which has renewed interest in this young man with the golden voice and has brought back his positive beautiful music back on many playlist and radio station rotation.
It is a reality; Defranco is a fast growing recording artist and will become a house old name in this life.
LISTEN | DeFranco – It’s No Fun Anymore:
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01 – DeFranco – It’s No Fun Anymore
02 – DeFranco – Got To Change
03 – DeFranco – Give What You Want
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