Band Or Bust: Carla Franco chats what makes her stand out ahead of Round 2 at The House Of Machines

Originally from Bloemfontein, 28-year-old singer-songwriter Carla Franco moved to Cape Town to further her music career and she’s been making some serious inroads, so you know she’s about to deliver a cracking set this Friday at The House Of Machines.

Texx: Give us a bit of background into you/your band – who are you and where are you from?

Carla Franco: My name is Carla Franco, I am originally from Bloemfontein. I have recently moved to Cape Town after living in Johannesburg for 4 years. I am a queer and hearing impaired singer-songwriter looking to make an undeniable dent in the South African music scene. 

Texx: In your own words, what kind of music do you make?

CF: I don’t believe in being a one genre artist – especially as a result of my songwriting. I am often emotionally charged with my song writing and that reflects in various ways, thus resulting in various genres. However, my roots lie within Indie and Alternative music.

Texx: Sum up your live show in one short sentence?

CF: I always say: “My music has to make people feel something.” And my live shows are designed to do exactly that – making the audience feel something. Something sad, something honest, something fun, something powerful, something groovy and something rock. My live show will make me come alive and in turn, my goal is that the energy brings the audience to life as well. 

Texx: What’s been the highlight of your musical journey so far?

CF: Having a really positive album review from Texx and the City for my sophomore album LAYERS opening for Karen Zoid and Casey Lowry and being the cover of the Spotify SAlt playlist. 

Texx: What do you think you bring to the Final 6 that makes you stand out?

CF: I think I bring range, authenticity and honesty to the table. I am unapologetically me and I am not trying to be anything else – neither is my music. I just want to create quality music and use that music to create a community where music can be a tool for healing and togetherness. I am not trying to be something else, I am Carla Franco and I am multifaceted, I am hearing impaired and I have a lot of things to say and music is how I say it. My only hope is that the things I say resonate with people and that we can all speak the language of music regardless of genres and backgrounds. And whilst every artist has their niche and a unique element they offer. Mine is that I just don’t have time to waste and I want to create and listen to as much music as possible. My ears are on borrowed time and we have too many music memories to make. 

Texx: Which act out of the Final 6 do you rate highly and why?

CF: It is between Pixie Whip and The Cinematic Rejects. Pixie Whip is a female artist that is not only a songwriter, but also intermeddling genres to create a unique sound and brand. With so few female artists with access to the music scene, I not only recognize that It is competition but also another female artist looking to make a mark in the local scene and that is something I commend greatly.

Pixie Whip has also networked well within the scene and it speaks to her ability to grow beyond the music itself. The Cinematic Rejects were a band I actually only discovered as a result of BOB. I think I am drawn to their sound because of the nostalgia that it offers. During high school I was really drawn to late ’90s, early ’00s punk rock music and they are very reminiscent of that time with a really strong vocal lead. 

Texx: If you could pick any of the judges to drink with who would you pick and why – and what would you be drinking?

CF: Either Tecla or Majozi. I’d pick Tecla because I am always hungry for knowledge and wanting to better understand the industry and how to best go about occupying that space in an effective manner from a business, live-show and marketing perspective. I’d pick Majozi because I have seen him live before and I know that his journey in the industry has not been easy. As a songwriter, I think I could gain a lot of insight into what mistakes to avoid and how to better improve my craft and create show opportunities for myself and for my band on a more consistent basis. As much as music is a first-love and an organic relationship for me – an artist cannot ascend without understanding the business of music and the industry at large. This is something I want to understand as much as possible so that I am able to build myself, my brand and my craft. What I’d drink? A red cappuccino or a whiskey with sugar free tonic.

Carla Franco vs Operation Khataza at The House Of Machines happens this Friday 14 June at 9pm.