Updated: Sunday, 17th February 2019 @ 6:14am

'Working class roots': Franko Fraize on work ethic, Corbyn and 'pukka' Manchester

'Working class roots': Franko Fraize on work ethic, Corbyn and 'pukka' Manchester

| By Hannah Watte

Being a northerner, when Franko Fraize describes Manchester as ‘pukka’ it’s difficult to know exactly what it means, but it certainly sounds positive.

But though the emerging, Norfolk-based rapper may have a southern twang when he performs, his working class background is something that most Mancunians could relate to – and something that gives him a sense of affinity towards the city.

Franko – real name Frankie Dean – may be starting from scratch, but his career is building momentum.

Saturday’s rousing performance at The Ritz, in support of Reverend and the Makers, will be followed by a return to the city with The Enemy on Tuesday, all after the release of his first single, Oi Oi, earlier this month.

Not bad considering the hip-hop artist started out posting videos on MySpace three years ago, before graduating to Youtube and establishing himself as a genuine talent.

But regardless of how success has arrived, Franko always comes back to his background, when talking about both his trip to Manchester, and the burgeoning career that preceded it.

"Working class roots are at the heart of Manchester, it's true England,” he told MM.

"Although I've only been here once before, it's a good atmosphere and I can feel the love.

"All that got lost, Corbyn brought back that ethos.

"I made a brand and it was right. It was about average Joe life in England, those home town videos and small town England vibes.

"YouTube gave us that visual, filled that gap and it snowballed. Video is the defining thing.”

Although the rapper may think that video is his ‘defining thing’, it is his live performances that have been drawing plaudits, with many taking to social media to laud his efforts on his recent tour.

Supporting indie bands such as Reverend and the Makers and The Enemy may not seem a natural progression for a rapper, but Franko insisted that it was important for him to ‘cross over to lots of different things’.

In fact, Manchester’s ‘smashing’ music scene was cited as an inspiration, with Franko listing Oasis, Happy Mondays and New Order as bands whose impact he tries to emulate.

But none of those compare with the influence that the man who imbued his working class mentality has had on his career.

"My Dad's a real believer of work ethic and traditional, working class values,” he confessed.

"Not Jeremy Kyle – old school grit, you get up and work.

"If you work hard enough and love something enough, it's worth it and you can make it work.

“I've been fortunate with luck, but I've grafted, everyone has to, it's important for people. It's part and parcel, everyone has to.

"The strife and struggles are part of it."

But for now Franko Fraize will be hoping that the strife and struggles are a thing of the past.

In fact, as his career continues to takes strides, life must be looking pretty pukka for the rapper.

Whatever that means. 

Image courtesy of BBC, via Youtube, with thanks