Regarding her music as facet of a larger artistic package, Sydney artist and producer F₹ANK AKA Joanna Frank, clearly has a strong idea of how she wants to be represented visually. Born in Chennai, her aesthetic is largely connected to her Indian-Australian upbringing, and offers an alternative gaze on mainstream electro-pop.
Embedding her Indian roots in her artistic identity, from the rupee symbol in her logo, to samples of Indian movie soundtracks in her music, and imagery of Bollywood stars and South Indian sculptures featured in her collages and paintings, her new track ‘Across Pleasure’ further showcases the entwinement of her art to her understanding of identity.
Lyrically, the track centres around the balance of societal and cultural expectations. “‘Across Pleasure’ is ultimately about judgement. When you have been brought up in an Asian community you are constantly being judged and compared to other people your age,” Joanna says. “I feel like this causes so much mental strain and you’re always made to feel like you’re not living up to expectations. This song is me dealing with the perpetual war that goes on within myself of what I really want to do and what others expect that I should do.”
The clip for the fiery track is a fitting representation of the music, snaking between dark rooms and reimagined raw video. “The concept behind the video was pretty simple. I found footage I had shot while driving around Chennai 7 years ago,” Joanna says. “I overlaid the stream of footage and it’s meant to represent that internal noise that I have in my head – the “cultural judgement.” I felt like the words had more power than my delivery of them so I wrote out the lyrics of the song and filmed it so the audience could read them.”
It feels like what we’ve heard from F₹ANK so far is just scratching the surface on a talent that will continue to captivate and hypnotise observers well into the future. Stay tuned for more from the enigmatic artist.