A few weeks ago, we reported that James Franco had released a groovy EP titled MotorCity with collaborator Tim O’Keefe and Smokey Robinson. No, really. Now it looks like if Franco can maneuver his schedule and make the recording sessions work so that Daddy can release a full-length album in the future.
The multi-hyphenate Franco sat down with Billboard to talk about Daddy’s future, which started off as a project that would coincide with his directorial ad debut for the 7 For All Mankind jeans campaign. “I guess if we complete all the songs it’ll be a full-length album, 10 to 12 songs. We’re working on that right now. It’s a little different; the style’s not quite Motown but has a similar vibe,” said Franco.
The EP currently features Franco reciting spoken word sounding more like a beat poet like his portrayed role of Allen Ginsberg than a singer. The highlighted track is Crime, which features the groove of Smokey Robinson. Explaining how that unlikely collaboration came to fruition, Franco said, “He had said he would work on something with me, but I never brought him anything solid. When we started doing (‘MotorCity’) I asked him if he would sing on one of the songs, and he said, ‘Sure.’ We sent the songs to him, and he really responded to ‘Crime.’ ”
While Top 40 radio seems to be filtrated with electro-dance and hip hop, the signature Motown sound is something that James Franco felt close to and worked for his project that will more than likely turn up at an art installation. Of the experience of getting back into the genre, Franco said,
“I stopped kind of actively trying to find all the new bands and new songs and I just thought, ‘Let’s stick to a time and a style and just explore that. So that was one of the reasons I started listening to Motown a lot, and once I got to Detroit it made even more sense. It’s not like I was going out and hearing Motown in any clubs or anything like that, but I think just being there and knowing the history made me want to listen to Motown more. I’ve always been a fan of it, and I thought if we used Motown as an influence it might be… unexpected.”
Would you buy an album from James Franco’s band Daddy?