LA-based musician Nico Franc performs at GV

Courtesy / Nico Franc

Courtesy / Nico Franc

Arie Nienhuis

No matter who you are, Grand Valley State University is always hosting and setting events that you will be sure to enjoy. For many, the events that get them out of the house are the many concerts taking place at GVSU any time of the year. One of the most recent shows was a solo concert from Los Angeles musician Nico Franc.

Nico Franc is an immensely talented young artist, playing a unique fusion of pop, jazz, soul and R&B with a wonderful amount of energy. Described as Stevie Wonder, Sting and John Mayer rolled into one, he strikes an old-school appeal with an infectious young energy. After his show on Feb. 27, he shared some of his thoughts on his influences and making music.

“The majority of my musical influences came from my family, but I really branched out in high school,” Franc said. “I found my true calling in blues and funk. I discovered John Mayer, B.B. King, Stevie Ray Vaughan, all the massive guitar players. And from the moment I could play piano, I was writing songs.”

Coming from a background in design, Franc has also incorporated his visual talents into his musical career. Not only does he design all of his own merchandise and promotional material, he often finds himself working a design-based mindset into his musical practices.

“Everything has to do with simplicity. I want to tell you a story with the least amount of words with the most meaning,” Franc said. “Being able to execute that story and meaning, as well as the story and quality of words, is key. I always ask myself what the simplest and most beautiful way is, and that’s the design focus at work.”

Franc’s show included a collection of his original work, as well as a number of creative cover mashups from artists such as Coldplay, Gnarls Barkley and Stevie Wonder. He concluded the show with a cover of The Beatles’ “Blackbird,” wrapping a rousing show with a tender moment. Franc expressed that he loves playing for college crowds, as he feels the community resonates with his feelings and ideas.

“(College kids) get it, man! I am college-aged and I can talk about the things that are incredibly relevant to them, like politics, relationships and missing home,” Franc said. “I love being reminded of who I am and why I do what I do. I do this because I love it.”

Franc’s music can be found on all major streaming services and more information can be found on his website. For GVSU students seeking a path of music like he did, he shared a little advice.

“There’s no prerequisite, there’s no curriculum and there’s no correct way. Just get out and play your songs,” Franc said. “Don’t worry about how you look, or how you are expected to sound, because you are the people who redefine the industry. Regardless of the end goal, keep doing it. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.”