What you are determined to conquer should hold no fear in your presence. As a product that grew from within, artist Frank Have Mercy shows indeed no mercenary to obtain likeminded thinking. The artist introduces a realm of creativity through music, creative direction, and action while holding his heart on his sleeve, and encouraging true events beyond his lyrical penmanship. As he is unfazed by others revamping equal similarities, Frank Have Mercy objects to the common folk while perusing new territory.


Who is FrankHaveMercy as an artist?

Well, I mean, I’m a musician. I’m an artist, used to do photography. I would just introduce myself saying that I’m artist you know, I’m saying? Just in every way like I wear my emotions on my sleeve, I wear my heart on my sleeve. My music is very vulnerable. I’m just very real with how I feel and the things I talk about in my music. So exactly how my music sounds is how I live, and it’s very authentic to who I am, and I’m just a real person.


How would you describe your sound under three categories?

I will say, it’s nostalgic. In certain senses, certain sounds I use, it’s elevated. I kind of just create different worlds within it, it has elements of like r&b and hip-hop. It has heavy influences from people like Sade, etc. I really like what other people tell me what they think about it. It’s hard for me to put a name to it.


What made you decide to pursue music in a generation such as this one?

I was doing creative direction for a lot of different artists on my way up. So, I spent a lot of time doing creative direction for this guy named MixedByAli who’s the engineer here in LA, he’s an in-house engineer for TDE, but he also mixes like everybody’s records. So, I would sit in all his sessions, and I was the Victory Lap sessions with Nip and the DAMN sessions with Kendrick, and, around all these big artists, I just got inspired. I love the music that they make and how much attention to detail they had and their dedication to the craft. I always had a love for music, but those things just kind of made me want to hone in and create my own sound you know?

How did the name “Frank Have Mercy” come about?

I used to watch 300, I still watch 300 all the time. So, I was watching a lot of movies like that like 300 Gladiator, Troy. And one of the underlying things that they always talk about is mercy and the kings having mercy on people and things like that. So, it was just a play on that.


When you first started, what was your mindset towards your art vs now?

I’m enjoying the process a lot more because I always think about releasing something or the activations around it, or what we’re gonna do at the show and things like that. And now I’m just enjoying making the music, sitting with it, actually making sure I really really like it and that I could live to because that’s a big thing for me. It’s like creating music that people can live to, that they could wake up to, that they could work out, have sex, whatever you want to do to the music. Just making sure that it fits the vibe that I want to give off. So, I’m just enjoying the process of really making it and simultaneously I really want to be one of the biggest artists in the world. So, I’m just working really hard.


What’s one of the main reasons you believe people gravitate toward you as an artist?

I think the sound is like… it’s really light. I’m not talking about killing in my music. It’s positive in a certain sense, if you look at me you wouldn’t I think I sound the way I do, it’s a big contrast. There are just a lot of elements that people can pull from that they might like. This person might like me because I got tattoos, this person might like me just because I be on some model shit sometimes, and this person might just really fuck with the music, and then a large majority of my people just been fucking with me just on some art shit from the times I was doing photography and other people just like me for who I am. So, it’s just so many different things that people pull from and gravitate towards that I’m thankful for.

Do you feel it can be difficult to be taken seriously in the music industry?

I feel like people take you as seriously as you take yourself. That’s how I always approached everything. Everything I ever did in life, I wasn’t groomed to do growing up, I grew up playing basketball and just going to school and being a kid in North Carolina. I didn’t grow up going to art school or learning all these different crafts and things. I was going to church, going to basketball practice, hanging out with my family, and stuff like that. I really wasn’t even traveling a lot. So, everything I’ve learned thus far is just me locking in on something and learning how to do it and letting people see the process of that. I’ve always been an avid believer that you suck at something, just keep doing it and you get better along the journey. And I love to let people see that, I think people take me serious as artists just because I’m serious about my art. But I also don’t let it run my life. I saw this quote that was like, “If your hustle is affecting your personal life, then you’re hustling backward.” I’m still gonna make sure I’m happy in my life. I still wake up every day and approach every day saying no matter where one song is going better than the other or, if people like this one more or whatever. As long as I like it, and I’m happy, and my mom like it, that’s really all I be caring about for real.


When pushing out bodies of work such as “Endless Summer,” or even “the process of loving an artist” do you feel it is important to make a certain connection towards not only your fans but all who are tapped in with you as an artist?

Yeah, of course, which is why I try to talk about real things in my music. I talked about love a lot, heartbreak, and just things of that nature because people are always going to feel those emotions no matter who they are. All of the songs that are my favorite songs that I like, or I’ve been listening to a lot of like Tina Marie lately, and of course Sade and just like older music because this stuff my mom used to sing to me when I was little that I really wouldn’t pay attention to what they were saying. Still, I just knew I liked the music. Now that I’m older, I can really listen to it and be like “damn they was really going through it.” like getting they heart torn a half and making it sound so beautiful. That’s the type of energy I’m trying to bring to music. Just making that heartbreak and that pain sound beautiful. That way people can cope with things but still feel good in the process of it.

What about your latest projects “Overdosin” and “Tuesday’s” what would you say is the hidden gem throughout these singles?

The theme of the song is obviously, I’m flexing in the verses, right? But then the hook just wraps everything into again just love. It’s like this girl takes me out my body, I can’t see no one. She my drug and everyone should know I’m overdosin. It’s just like getting engulfed in that love and everything that comes with it Right? Like yeah, I’m out here flexin’ and doing this and that. But at the end of the day, we all searching for love. I don’t care who you are, you’re looking for it in some capacity, whether it’s validation, whether it’s romance, whether it’s intimacy, whether it’s just, you know, wanting to be courted, or whatever it might be. So that’s where I’m at with it.


What’s next for you? What can we expect from Frank himself?

I’m focused on the music right now. Music is number one in my life right now. So, I got a song called “Malibu High” that I’m about to release. And I’ll probably drop two or three more singles in the following months, and then release a project called “Fallen Angels.”


As an artist, can you explain the process of loving your art and being brave enough to share it with the world?

Yeah, it’s like you know, I’ve been in like life-or-death situations before. So, it just changed the way I look at life. It’s so delicate, it’s so short. And we can’t share enough, you know what I’m saying? I never want to overthink it to the point where I feel like I can’t share things that I like. You can’t let the opinions of other people affect how you put out your art and stuff because it’s subjective at the end of the day. There’re some people that don’t think Drake’s music is good. Art at the end of the day is subjective. You can’t let the opinions of nobody but yourself affect the output of your art. So that’s just how I approach it. And I believe in my tastes, before I was even doing music, or like, even when I was young in school, the songs that I like, people usually end up liking it. I’m a big believer in that I can make things move. That’s just how I approach life. So, I’m always like, if I create a world around my music and a lifestyle, then I’ll bring people in there that want to live inside that world. So that’s just how I approach art.


Photo Credits: Najah Brown