For many, Miles Francis’ debut EP, Swimmers, was an introduction to a new artistic vision and unique sound - but Miles had already been around for years.
You might have seen him on Late Show with David Letterman drumming with Arcade FireWill Butler or on Jimmy Kimmel Live! keeping time for Antibalas; in South Africa onstage with Angelique Kidjo, in Hollywood playing with Amber Mark, or at the Apollo Theater backing up the late Sharon Jones. Born and raised in New York City, Miles grew up seeing his father play trumpet at local jazz clubs, playing raucous rock shows in high school, and leading underground afrobeat parties in college. At home, he studied his wide range of influences with intensity, plucking elements that appealed to him from any direction - David Bowie's delivery, J Dilla's rhythm, Prince's drum patterns, Paul McCartney's bass lines. All of his influences and experiences coalesced into Swimmers, which also featured a companion short film and NYC gallery show. It was an impressive display by a young artist who had obviously been immersed in music his whole life so far.
Miles Francis now presents “Sophomore Slump” - an infectiously catchy ode to an all-too-familiar phenomenon. The song tries to make light of an unfortunate situation: “I liked the idea of creating a new ‘dance craze’ for something bleak, like failing to reach expectations. It’s my way of pushing through - instead of wallowing in the feeling, try to make light of it and do this dance.”