Francesco Yates on Working With Pharrell: "It Was Very, Very Special" | County Grind | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida


Francesco Yates on Working With Pharrell: "It Was Very, Very Special"

At just 19 years old, Canadian pop singer/songwriter Francesco Yates has accomplished more for his age than the average college freshman. Not only is he on his first U.S. tour, but he is also one of the many faces of the global "Faces of Fall Winter 2014 'People' Campaign from international clothing retailer UNIQLO, whose new stores will be opening in Boston, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles. Let's not forget that he just released his music video for "Call" and collaborated with famous producers Pharrell Williams and Robin Hannibal of Rhye/Quadron (Kendrick Lamar, B.O.B.) for his debut album.

So how does it feel to be so young in the hungry music industry? "I mean, it's just good to be doing what I do in the way that I'm doing it," says Yates. "It's a great thing, it's a beautiful thing."

Inspired musically by the movie "School of Rock" with funnyman Jack Black, Yates decided that music was his true calling.

"That's when it all started," Yates confessed. "I watched it when I was a kid. I was enthralled with these kids who got with Jack Black in the movie and played instruments. They were like little rock stars and I said that it looked like fun and that I could do it. And I've been doing it ever since."

In fact, Yates has been doing it at an even younger age that he is now, since he first saw the movie when he was 11. And although Jack Black does not know that his flick inspired the pop star, Yates "would tell him in an instant" upon meeting him.

Yates will be making one of his stops in Florida this Friday at Revolution Live. When asked what he is looking forward to most about performing in Florida, Yates replied, "When I was in Florida [he visited Miami with Pharell Williams], it reminded me a lot of Jamaica, so I would have to say the weather. Oh, and the ocean too! That clear water is a special thing."

Besides visiting MIA with Yates, heavy-hitter producer/singer Williams taught Yates some important lessons. "It was very, very special," said Yates about his experience working with Williams. "I learned a lot from him. One of the main things he taught me was to let it flow with the first thing that came to my head. I used to question my instincts a lot, and he taught me to just go with it."

The encounter must have pushed Yates in the right direction, because he describes his album as "daring. It's different. It's brave. I think there are some bold moves on the album and choices as far as songs go. They have a life of their own."

Needless to say, Yates is very excited about his first U.S. tour "It's going to be a new experience," he said. "I'm ready for it. I'm up for the challenge."

Francesco Yates, October 10, at Revolution Live. 100 SW 3rd Ave, Fort Lauderdale. Visit for tickets.

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Natalya Jones

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