Franklins Key: Ambient, Atmospheric, and Amazing
Progressive Man takes great delight in interviewing Franklin’s Key, a band we’ve had our eyes on for quite a while now. The dynamic duo of Ryan Koch and Leeane Melendez have created a unique experimental electronica sound that is equal parts relaxing and captivating. Ryan and Leeane walk us through how they first met, some of their favorite memories, and their single (with new music video!) “Ghost and Me.”
Hey guys! It’s great to speak with you! Tell us a little about how the band came together and where you’re from.
L- Ryan is originally from Pittsburgh, and I was born in Springfield, Mass, but my family is from Puerto Rico. I came out here about 7 or 8 years ago, and Ryan has been out here about 2 years. We both currently reside in North Hollywood. We met a little over a year ago when Ryan placed an ad online.
R- Both Leeane and I wanted to try something new, and it just clicked. We just started experimenting and have been making music together ever since.
How did you guys come up with your name?
R- It’s a musical key you probably never heard of.
L- Ha, no, actually it’s inspired by the key that Benjamin Franklin attached to the kite when he discovered electricity. Since we play electronica we thought it was suiting.
How would you describe your music to someone who’s never heard it?
R- Cooler than the average cat. Unique and accessible. We are always trying to find that balance in our music where we are challenging ourselves to be different, but not so different that the average music listener can’t enjoy it.
What projects do you have lined up? Are you recording anything new right now or lining up show dates?
L- We are in the studio working hard at making our first album, “Dream Therapy”, with the amazing producers, Omer Avni and Adam Peri, of RiotVan Productions. We are taking our time to make sure it’s something we are proud of. We are constantly performing, trying to hone in our live show and to test out new songs.
What was it like shooting the music video for Ghost and Me?
L- It was amazing having all these awesome people helping us bring Ryan’s vision to life. We had no budget so it was truly a DIY music video that came together with the help of amazing friends. We got really lucky!
R- It was great to see the visions in my mind on screen. We were underfunded and under prepared but somehow managed to get something out there that looks pretty damn good, in my humble opinion. I really can’t wait until everyone can see the HD version when it hits Vevo in the next few weeks. When I saw it, it was like watching the video for the first time all over again.
What would you say is your favorite show you’ve ever played?
L- The art walk at the Mezz. Everyone was shopping for art and stopped and watched us. We got a ton of positive feedback. But we try to make every show better than the last.
R- I have to agree with Leeane on that. I love performing when there are people just hanging around and are drawn in by a sweet beat or Leeane’s voice. It’s like they are minding their own business and we just grab them and drag them over with our music.
What’s the song writing process like for you? Do you send ideas back and forth or do you get together and collaborate?
L- We start with music for the most part then come up with the melodies and write the lyrics together. We are really picky with everything we write and put out there, but we test out new songs in our live shows to see the feedback the audience gives us. We can always tell whether a song is working or not based off the reactions of the crowd. I’m always jotting lyrics down in a notebook and Ryan is always coming up with new beats and melodies, so when we get together we have some ideas to jump off from.
What was the inspiration for Ghost and Me? Was there any specific event that fueled the writing of the song?
L- It started with Ryan writing the first verse. It caught my ear and we both started writing the rest of the verses together. I was taking a nap one day and woke up with the chorus in my head. It was a very easy process that took a few days but ended up being our single because everyone loved the song. It was Ryan’s heartbreak that gave the song so much emotion and intensity.
R- It’s funny because it was really more of an experiment as we were still feeling each other out and turned out to be our most catchy, radio-friendly (I know, a dirty word) song. I feel this “Ghost and Me” is the gateway drug into the rest of our music. The first one is free.
What’s one of your favorite memories during the time you guys have been together?
L- Winning SoCal Idol was a big highlight for us because it was only our 3rd Show and we weren’t expecting it at all. The judges all commented on our uniqueness and performance which was a great motivator and assured us that we were going in the right direction.
Where can people go to find your music?
L- Our website, www.franklinskey.com, sends you to all our other social media links plus has all our information if you need to get a hold of us. Obviously we have Facebook, soundcloud, twitter, instagram etc. There are so many avenues it’s hard to keep all of them up to date. But our website is pretty constantly updated and can point you to where ever you’d like to go. I hope you stop by and say hi.