Ok so a few weeks ago I promised my Patreon backers a surprise as a little kick back for sticking with me all these months without many live streams on my Periscope or Busker profiles. Thank you thank you thank you for being patient and supporting my music. It DOES make a huge difference when I'm on this crazy ride...because we're on it together. :) So here's some live tracks over a few showcase nights in Snellville, GA at a great place called Tavern on Main. Some of these songs will be on the new EP coming this summer, called Onward & Upward.
In addition, as promised, here's a little explanation about my hiatus. It was abrupt and lengthy, but for good reason (some of you may already know). DISCLAIMER: this is not a pity party but a chance for insight on what was going on. Here we go...
So August 2016, at the tail end of my live-stream filled Perifornia Tour from FL to CA, two things aligned around the same time quite nicely---I was ready to start building something with music in one area instead of bouncing around so often (I was also running out of places to go other than home) and some of my talented FL friends arrived in LA. I was invited to join the effort of chasing down dreams months ago so I finally decided to accept. Quickly after arriving there, my lifestyle changed DRASTICALLY. It became less about exploring and more about surviving. When people say LA is expensive---it's an understatement. It's UNREAL.
I had some savings left from the past year but within a month they were gone. By day I was learning how to Busk on the Santa Monica Pier and Venice beach and by night I was finding a place to rest with my friends at various parks. We would sleep in our vehicles and then by day we would go out and busk or did gigs...whatever we could do to survive. Now, I know what you're thinking...why the hell would I sleep in my car?! Because I felt it was a means to an end and for the experience and knowledge I gained...it was worth it. I had a blast and a unique experience out there. I was also no stranger to car dwelling, which I also did in Atlanta, but I never did it to this extent.
So living out of my car immediately knocked out many of the hours I’d usually be live streaming because, one, I had no wifi, and, two, I had no space to play! (at least in my car…I did it but it wasn’t very conducive) Another obvious reason is that I wasn’t the most hygienic and well rested so I wasn’t always very ‘fit’ to be on camera let alone playing music. 5 days in a row in the car without crashing on a friend’s couch or getting a hotel and I would be pooped from exhaustion and the sun beating down on me at the pier all day. I have some pretty rough photos of me looking like a couch potato ripe tomato haha :P
But there were more complications, the longer I stayed in my car, which did allow me to not have to drain any earned money on shelter, the more rusty I became with practicing. Often times on live stream and on the pier, I felt under-rehearsed but I could never seem to find an efficient way to practice. I loved being out in this top entertainment mecca, but I hated the feeling of just ‘winging it’ all the time. On top of not being well rested or groomed, my skin broke out in some pretty bad acne. I was embarrassed and couldn’t ignore it or manage it well (matter of fact today I’m still trying to manage it but it’s getting much better with the right diet, care, and regard visits to an esthetician!).
Slowly, things came to a breaking point, as much as I loved performing on the pier like my buddy Clare Means I could not make enough money to get ahead even with the support of my Patreon backers and Busker chipping in. Most days during the week I only made enough to eat and put gas in my car, only on the weekends did I have a shot of making anything decent. It just wasn’t enough. Someone suggested driving for Uber Eats and I finally gave it a shot. I liked it! It also gave me the money I needed to get things going and eventually get into a place, but unfortunately, it took me even further away from music. It gradually took up all my time. I was so fixed on making enough money to get out of the car so I could get a place to sleep and work on music, I hardly streamed or played out on the pier. People had warned me about how bad LA was with prices, but I honestly thought I could swing it.
Holidays came up and I was confronted with reality head on. My family wanted me to fly into Atlanta for the holidays and I ended up staying a month. It was beyond refreshing and productive (I wrote and co-wrote 10 songs and performed a bit). I came back to California feeling split. I didn’t return to LA right away, I bounced from San Diego all the way to the bay area until I decided that Atlanta was the best place to be. I have my family, contacts, and cheaper cost of living. It took a lot for me to leave and go back, but I’m so glad I did because i’m more happy and productive than I’ve ever been now. It’s only been a month and I’m already looking at having my own place (more regular streams!) and a new record on the way! Enough of my soap box….thank you guys!
Stay sexy Franions!