Interview with Sheffield’s Franz Von

By Jimmy Hughes-Brown

31 May 2024

Franz Von is a multi genre artist described as “Electrifying Hip Hop fusion”. He talks about influences, playing with a live band, Tramlines this year and the ‘urban’ Scene in Sheffield.

You’ve been releasing music since 2012, you cover a range of genres from hip hip hop to dancehall. Could you tell me a little bit about your journey with that sort of music and how you bring all of these styles together?

I started off just with hip hop, hip hop’s my background and my base. Then I branched out into drum and bass. And I think I’ve had a wide experience with music. Growing up in Jamaica, they played everything over there. A lot of reggae and dancehall but everything’s played so I was open to a lot of music.  Then I moved into the UK discovering even more music and loving it.

I never thought about performing or anything like that. I just loved music and was just soaking it all up, soaking up a lot of different genres of music. When I wanted to get into the live band scene and had a weird passion to do live music from a hip hop background, it’s DJ, turntables, MC. I wanted to bring more and self getting into live music and working with K.O.G. & The Zombie Brigade, opened my eyes to more Afrobeat, Afro fusion type stuff and I took it from there.

I haven’t I haven’t had a chance to see you play live. But I was watching videos of you and you look like you’re in your element.

Thanks, man. Thank you. Yeah, it’s one of my favourite things to do in music, live performances. And weirdly enough, you know, once I’ve written a track, recorded it, sat down with a producer and mixed it, that’s the most boring part, but I still find it exciting, my two favourite bits.

You’ve been making music the whole time you’ve been living in Sheffield. What’s that Like? Because looking at the scene in Sheffield, for hip hop, rap, grime, whatever. It doesn’t feel like there’s the space there for it.

The space is there, It’s just not just not being pushed. It’s not being explored enough or not being given the opportunity enough. But there’s groups coming out, promoters and facilitators such as Slam bars and Pattern and Push, Pattern and Push booked me for my Tramlines spot.

Your last solo EP released is People Di Power. Have you got anything new coming up?

Yeah, I’ve got a new album,almost ready to go. It’s just I’m actually pitching it to labels right now. Usually, I do independent releases, but this time I’m trying to see if I can get a bit further with a record label. Got my fingers crossed for that.

Do you have any up and coming musicians from Sheffield or know that’d you’d want to recommend?

There’s so many. There’s a young person I used to work with. She’s called Kid blu3. She just really gets out there. I think she’s gonna go really far because she’s young she’s just learning. She’s gonna develop into a really really strong artist. 

You’ve got a tour coming up. You’ve got tramlines coming up, is there anything else?

Full summer festivals with the TC & the groove family. I’m playing a few festivals with my hip hop band for the first time. Proper camping festivals, Green Man Festival, WOMAD, Love Supreme. I’m really looking forward to Love supreme. Yeah I’ve never played a festival there before as well. So I’m really blessed to have my hip hop there for the first time. It’ll be wicked. Chaka Khan’s, one of the headliners. I’m hoping to bump into her in the area.

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