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Presented by the no sugar, OG vodka seltzer baddies themselves, Smirnoff are this month featuring Boorloo-based singer/songwriter, FRAN, as our latest LGBTQIA+ Seltz-Ar-tist of the month!
Yep, the famed vodka favourite, and subsequent masterminds behind the brand new low sugar Spicy Margarita & Watermelon Margarita cocktail inspired vodka seltzers, have decided to use this paid article to instead promote an emerging LGBTQIA+ local music mixing DJ.
It really is big icon energy…which is impressive, given that their new Spicy Margarita & Watermelon Margarita vodka seltzers are only 107 callories per can. An impressive flex if we do say so ourselves.
So next time you’re en route to a big gay gig, having the gals and the gays round for a drink, or meeting a ferociously fabulous someone at the bar, feel free to grab yourself an equally fabulous 7% ABV (1.4 standard drinks per can) Smirnoff Seltzer.
After coming face-to-face with death in her late 40s, Frances Veltman (she/they) suddenly realised that she hadn’t made any of her dreams into an actual reality. That’s when music producer and singer-songwriter FRAN was born.
“When I got really sick,” FRAN admits, “I thought, ‘oh sh*t, I’m going to die,’ and I was never going to have done anything I had dreamed about doing…. so I found out where to go, and I ended up a music school called Lab Six.”
It was here – at this boutique music production and DJ school in Perth/Boorloo – where they learned the basics of music production.
In the time since, FRAN, who’s now in her 50s has become the oldest emerging artist on Triple J Unearthed. But they’ve also hit a lot of other personal milestones.
“There’ve been so many highlights.” FRAN says, “like writing my first song (because it takes a while to write a first song), shooting my first music video, and doing my first festival. And then receiving a WAM [West Australian Music] Song of the Year nomination and getting a song on Triple J, that was pretty amazing.”
In the time that she’s been producing music, FRAN has released over a dozen tracks in a mix of house music, and music which tells a story. Recently however, FRAN says they’ve been able to, “create a bit of a fusion, a house-slash-story fusion.”
FRAN’s approach to music also took an (unexpected) turn last year when she found out that she was intersex.
“I didn’t find out [I was intersex] until last year when I was at work,” they begin, “I was sent to a seminar which was an LGBTQIA+ education seminar about tolerance…and then I sat down and they were talking about intersex, and they pulled up a list of conditions that were common in intersex people. And on the list was one I had.”
FRAN continues, “and it actually made so much sense to me. And it was a really good thing for me to find out because I always felt like a failed woman.” FRAN explains that they didn’t get their period until being placed on hormones, and that when they tried to fall pregnant, they couldn’t, which compounded these feelings.
Ultimately, FRAN found out that she had a “huge” number of androgens in her system and that – hormonally – she was considered intersex.
“It just goes to prove, it’s not so black and white. Gender and sex, they’re on a scale. And it’s very upsetting that people get pushed into being told one thing or the other and If they don’t fit that then there’s something ‘wrong’ with them.”
Since finding out that they were intersex, FRAN explains that, “it’s made me want to be more authentic. It’s made my music more authentic. I want to write songs about it, and I’m trying to.”
To round out 2023, FRAN has aspirations of flying “over east” to become involved with shows in the states where her music has been featured on local radio (like Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria). “If those stations are prepared to play my music,” FRAN says, “I want to be prepared to play for the audiences that listen to them.”
To support FRAN and their music, follow them on Instagram
(@gottalovefranmusic). Here, you’ll be able to access their Linktree (linktr.ee/gottalovefranmusic) where they have links to all their newest releases.
FRAN’S QUICK FIRE FAVES
Q. Fave queer event in Australia?
A. Summer Camp Festival
Q. Fave queer Musician?
A. Peach PRC
Q. Fave Smirnoff Seltzer?
A. Watermelon Margarita
This article was written in (paid) partnership with Smirnoff, an LGBTQIA+ inclusive brand that supports A Modern Gay’s Guide’s free LGBTQIA+ offering.