It’s all in the mix

SF1 deftly blends genres, art forms

By Steve Graham

Shane Franklin is a radio personality for both a Top 40 pop station and a hard rock station. If that seems incongruous, you haven’t seen Franklin’s other project, SF1.

“I like to just call it music,” Franklin said of the eclectic blend of rap, soul, jazz and rock he brings to his albums as SF1. His live shows are even more eclectic, adding live instrumentation and leaning on his dance, acting and drumming skills.

SF1
Photo credit: Jae Allyce Photography

“I get so many people that come and say ‘I’m not into hip hop but I love your music,’” he said.

Franklin earned a few new Fort Collins fans last month with an energetic performance at Bohemian Nights at New West Fest.

He said he used to call his music alternative hip hop, with “a little bit of everything on top of a hip hop background.” However, he said the word alternative was too closely associated with rock music, so he thought listeners might get the wrong impression.

“A lot of people like to put people in boxes,” Franklin said. “My rule of thumb is I’m an entertainer.”

He certainly has some rock influences. Perhaps surprisingly, he cites Slipknot, Disturbed and Fallout Boy among his favorite artists. But his tastes have been naturally diverse since birth — and before.

He said his mother put headphones on her womb and play a wide variety of music.

“When I came out I was drumming on everything in sight,” Franklin said.

To feed his passion for music (and save her furniture from his percussive abuse), she enrolled him in drum lessons at the famed Cleo Parker Robinson Dance academy in Denver. He went on to theater and dance lessons at the same institution.

He also sang in the church choir and parlayed his love of acting into a movie role. He stars as a DJ in “Alien Domicile 2: Lot 24,” a feature film available on Amazon Prime.

However, his first passion has always been music.

“Music has been a part of my whole life,” said Franklin.

He studied percussion and audio engineering at Berklee College of Music, then came home to finish his music business degree at the University of Colorado at Denver.

He then found a job working as a DJ  radio personality for 95.7 The Party and 106.7 KBPI, both iHeartMedia stations. So he pays the bills while sharing music and even promoting his own shows and releases.

“I’m able to associate my brand with that mega house of a brand,” he said.

He said the broad styles of music on those stations allow him to open for rock bands and hip hop groups alike, although he has a soft spot for Colorado rap.

“The Denver hip hop scene is pretty dope,” he said. “Denver’s kind of a hub with us being in the middle of the country. It’s kind of a culmination of everything. To be a part of it is kind of cool.”

Franklin said he is working on “another big show” in January. He wouldn’t give any other details, but in January 2018, he staged a fairly legendary Outkast tribute show at Denver’s Oriental Theater.

He also has a new EP on the way and set an ambitious goal of releasing new music every two months.

“You’ve got to keep producing content because content is king,” said the music business graduate.

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