Life can get so busy. That’s one reason we love music. It’s a chance to take a moment and get caught in melody or line that pauses the craziness. Such is the music of Frances England. A bright pause, a patient beat. Songs for hearts and songs for streets. Last year, we invited Frances England to join us for an 8 is Enough Questions interview to celebrate her album “Explorer of the World”. However, we were so busy with kids, holidays, a new house, etc, we never published the interview. In the meantime, Frances England premiered a sparkling new album, “Blue Skies, Sunny Days”. So, we thought we’d celebrate both albums and the artistry of Frances England with finally publishing the interview updated with some new quotes, music, and more!
“I hope these songs provide an antidote to all the bad news out there,” says England, who chose one of her favorite artists, Lisa Congdon, to create the colorfully whimsical album artwork. “I went into the songwriting process for this album knowing that I wanted to make something that sounded really light and loose, which is funny because it was actually the complete opposite of how I was feeling. But I knew that’s what I wanted to share with children and families next because I feel like that’s what’s needed right now.” For this #8isEnoughQuestions interview, each question was written and asked by one of our Full Van Fun family members and answered directly by Frances England. Enjoy!
What do you love best about summer?
No school, slowing down and finding a new rhythm, 4th of July cookouts, fireflies, making and eating peach cobbler, reading books in hammocks, camping with friends, hanging out at a swimming pool, traveling to new places.
Why did you write a song about exploring the world?
My song “Explorer of the World” is definitely about exploring the world, but also really about paying attention. It’s awesome if you are lucky enough to get to travel to a cool far away place, but I feel like you can be an Explorer of the World right in your own backyard as long as your eyes are open and you’re really looking closely at the things around you. That’s really what “Explorer of the World” is all about about and I wanted to write a whole album around that theme because I feel like a lot of us, especially in this digital age, forget to pay attention to the beauty and wonders right in front of us.
Who was the biggest influence in your journey to become a professional musician?
I honestly had no plans on becoming a professional musician when I made my first children’s cd as a fundraiser for my son’s preschool. I had no idea what I was doing (and still don’t quite often!) but this kindie community of artists has been so generous and I’ve learned so much from paying attention to all the different roads and directions my friends in this genre have taken. They are the biggest influence.
What is your favorite color?
Many of your songs reflect a spirit of optimism – how do you bring this spirit to everyday life?
It’s not very hard – all I have to do is remember how lucky I am and think about all the wonderful things I have in my life: a healthy, loving family, a warm home, good friends, a rescue dog who thinks she’s my shadow — I am grateful everyday.
How many states have you visited since your Explorer of the World album?
Does riding a greyhound bus through Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida count? Because I did that not too long ago. I’ve also been to Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Colorado, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine since recording Explorer of the World.
What is your favorite part about living in such a culturally diverse city like San Francisco?
The people, the food, and feeling like I get best of both worlds because this city is surrounded by so much protected, wild, outdoor nature space.
Do you like pickles?
Thank you Frances for a sunny #8isEnoughQuestions interview and don’t forget to check out Blue Skies and Sunny Days and all her albums! Interested in more family friendly music that parents and children can both enjoy? Check out these artists like Amy Lee (Evanescence), Lisa Loeb, Andrew & Polly, Caspar Babypants (Presidents of the United States), Danny Weinkauf (They Might Be Giants), Bryan Vander Ark (The Verve Pipe), Rissi Palmer, and Jack Forman. Interested in travel stories about amazing destinations and adventures like the White House Easter Egg Roll, Santa Fe or Craters of the Moon? How about interviews with authors like Daniel Pinkwater or celebrity chefs like Fabio Viviani, Marc Murphy, and Robert Irvine? What about recipes, ranks, reviews, or other tips for families? We cover all of this and more at Full Van Fun!