James Franco is a man who wears many hats -- actor, author, poet, artist, filmmaker, academic, activist -- and in 2011 he added another item to his résumé: musician.
That year, Franco and Tim O'Keefe formed the indie rock duo Daddy, who use electronic-based music to explore their personal and cultural fascinations, focusing on time, space, and human character as much as the way their music sounds. Franco and O'Keefe met while both were studying art at the Rhode Island School of Design, and they worked together on an installation at Los Angeles' Gagosian Gallery, Endless Idaho, several months before they formed Daddy in late 2011. With Franco providing lyrics and vocals and O'Keefe on instruments, Daddy made their recording debut in September 2012 with the release of the EP MotorCity. In 2014, Franco published a book of poems titled Directing Herbert White; several of the poems dealt with Franco's devotion to the music of the Smiths, and this fascination would inform Daddy's next project. Franco and O'Keefe wrote and recorded a song cycle titled Let Me Get What I Want, with several of the songs paying homage to the Smiths; they also persuaded Smiths bassist Andy Rourke to play on the sessions. The Let Me Get What I Want album was released in early 2016, at the same time as a film made up of music videos illustrating the album's songs, including the pre-release single "This Charming Man." ~ Mark Deming