PROFILE: Frenchie 1017; Bricksquad Member - Bio, Pix + Audio
Presented by CeCe Vance of Vance NyCC Multimedia
HONESTY, INTEGRITY, and HARD WORK: not only a general recipe for success, but a trifecta of attributes as rare together as they are individually uncommon. In a renegade breed, much of those aspects are still present. That rare breed, reared in South Jamaica, Queens, includes Frenchie 1017; Bricksquad member, Atlanta-transplant, a Queens representer – and the hardest-working artist out right now.
Bio, Pictures and Audio after the Jump....
Born and raised in the much-maligned, yet-highly-gloriﬁed crack epidemic of the late 80’s and early 90’s, Frenchie lived through what many of us only read about: the depreciation of an entire neighborhood (Southside, Queens) into one of history’s most dangerous, rugged, and unsafe stretches of skull-cracked pavement and harsh realities to ever exist. Frenchie’s crossroads – Merrick & Linden – provided a ﬁrst- Hand account into the annals of hustler history. “To be honest, I grew up around a lot of ignorance. The older people that I looked up to, they were jackers; robbers. I was a part of it, too; but I always wanted more.” Frenchie displays a brutal honesty in describing his come up; and an uncontained, raw emotion that is undoubtedly a showcase of the ﬁnal offspring of a rare breed: “I didn’t want that nine-to-ﬁve,” he continues. “I always wanted more”.
Using music as a path to achievement, fourth-grade ciphers graduated to sixth-grade battles, and circumstantial yet pre-destined familial ties led to music as the only career option. “My family runs deep – my cousin Bimmy used to be an A&R at Def Jam, and DJ Hurricane – my uncle – was the Beastie Boys’ DJ.” Add that to the fact that Deborah Antney, mother & manager to Wacka Flocka, is his aunt, and you see how Frenchie wasn’t left with much of a choice – succeed in music, or stay in the hood. What separates Frenchie from his peers, though, are two seemingly trivial, but actually monumental tidbits: his constant travel back and forth from Atlanta, and his raw focus, energy, and determination. “I’m always up for an adventure. I was one of the only ones from my ‘hood to hop on the train; to see Brooklyn, to see the Bronx. I been through the Carolinas, Virginia – I spent half my life in Atlanta.” But the remembrance of Southside – its vitality, its vigor, its corruption, and ruggedness – instilled in the twenty-six year old an unparallel work ethic – to get rich, or die tryin’.
As far as Frenchie’s inﬂuences go, apart from a few out-of-towners, the home base is well-represented: “Gucci, that’s my boy. Banks, 50 Cent, Yayo – those are dudes from my neighborhood, and they made it out. LL Cool J, some of the older cats…and One Republic. I love so much different type of music, it’s a shame!” As far as concepts, the answer isn’t what you’d expect, but signiﬁes an innate intelligence, tremendous foresight, and the result of exposure to different: different music, different cultures, and different regions. “My style is universal. I’ll go wherever the tempo takes me…the concepts come from the beats. Certain beats speak to my soul. It has to feel live.” A constant tour de force of videos, work, and tours, Frenchie’s Internet presence is a sight to behold: a quick WorldStar search brings forth over forty self-produced music videos, and his YouTube presence includes videos spanning back several years, and millions of collective views.
“The Internet is the number-one promotional tool in the world. Children have so much technology nowadays, that they don’t even have to come outside. They can just stay indoors and have fun.” Maintaining this momentum, though, is a constant struggle for a 21st-century entertainer, as Frenchie elaborates: “The grind is the toughest part. It’s beautiful when the music is out, and they vibe to it. But the hard part – you gotta wake up early, everyday, after barely sleeping for days on end, to go to the studio to ﬁne-tune, edit, and break day. Sometimes, I wanna close my eyes and sleep, but I’d never allow myself to do that – not till I’m in a cofﬁn. I work hard, I go hard.” Showing no signs of slowing up, Frenchie’s onslaught will continue with the release of The Concrete Jungle, a mixtape hosted by DJ Holiday, fresh on the heels of Bringin’ Gangsta Back, hosted by DJ Trapaholics. Having done features with a broad range of Southern stars (Juicy J, Project Pat, Yung Joc, Gorilla Zoe, Soulja Boy), family members (Gucci Mane, Wacka Flocka, Wooh Da Kid), and East Coast up-and-comers (French Montana, John Depp, Webstar, and the late G. Baby), Frenchie’s groundwork has laid a solid, universal foundation. Success is only a step away.
CeCe Vance Publicist