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Local Group Defies Categorization

SF1 REFUSES TO FALL INTO ONE SIMPLE GENRE

SF1 is an artist for 2016. In the contemporary music world, genres are little more than categories appropriated by Billboard magazine, and bear little resemblance to the songs they are meant to describe. To be defined as specifically one style of music seems artistically hindering. Drake melds rap with singing, Beyonce now sings her pop melodies over trap beats, and Rihanna’s new album ANTI mixes pop with dancehall and 1970s soul. SF1 has been approaching music this way for years, long before it became the trend it is today.

SF1, aka Shane Franklin and his band The Crew consists of his brother Marv Franklin (vocals), Julie Almeria (vocals), Aaron Templer (percussion), Jasson Martin (drums), and Ninaad Nariani (featured dance).

Franklin has spent the majority of his life pursuing artistic endeavors, graduating from the Denver School of the Arts, then studying for a year at the Berklee College of Music in Boston before finally finishing his degree in Music Business at the CU Denver. “I do a little bit of everything— I’m a drummer, actor, singer, dancer and producer,” Franklin said.

Franklin’s studies at CU Denver helped him gain the success and reputation he has been achieving over the past few years. “Being there and learning the ropes from industry professionals helped me a lot,” Franklin said. With over 7,000 fans on Reverb Nation, over 5,000 likes on Facebook, and recently opening for Lupe Fiasco at the Ogden Theater, Franklin’s hard work is beginning to pay off.

Influenced by artists such as Outkast, Tech-N9ne, and Fall Out Boy, SF1’s sound combines elements of hard rock, funk, and soul with a solid hip-hop foundation. This eclectic musical soup is a badge of pride for SF1 and The Crew. “That’s how I feel music should be,” Franklin said. “In the market they have ways to categorize you for consumer purposes. Why can’t I be an epicenter of just music? I love music.”

Many of the songs stem from personal experiences by Franklin. “I write about what I see everyday.” However, some songs come from what he sees in other people’s experiences. “It’s what I call ‘the magical if statement,’ putting yourself in somebody else’s shoes,” Franklin said. “It allows you to get out of your comfort zone and write from a different perspective.”

SF1 and The Crew’s live act is where most of the excitement lies for the group. “Whenever I’m onstage I want to make sure I’m not just rapping to tracks and not doing anything special,” Franklin said. “I want it to be an experience when people come to the shows. We have an eclectic group of fans—they know they are going to get something different every time.”

SF1’s love of keeping music and performance energetic and exciting for fans is what has kept the community going to the group’s concerts. “At the end of the day, it’s music,” Franklin said. “It’s going to make people excited. It’s going to make people happy.

 

—Dylan Streight

Above: The members of SF1 strive to keep performances energetic.

photo: Nicole Elizabeth • CU Denver Sentry

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