Francis and the Lights

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Francis and the Lights
Francis and the Lights, 2007.jpg
Francis and the Lights performing at the Galapagos Art Space in Brooklyn, New York on November 15, 2007
Background information
Origin Oakland, California, United States
Genres Pop
Years active 2007–present
Associated acts
Members Francis Farewell Starlite

Francis and the Lights is an American musical project led by Francis Farewell Starlite.[1] The term "and the Lights" refers both to the lights on a stage and pixels on a computer screen.[2]

Starlite has said, "There are no "members" of Francis and the Lights. It is me and whomever else is involved. Including you."[3] In a Youtube comment addressing a fan's question in regard to 'the lights' Francis stated "the 'lights' refer to stage lights, cell phone screens, and radiant electricity in general (human beings run on electricity and emit light from our skin at extremely low levels)"[4]

Francis' music is in the pop / R&B category, characterized by a heavy use of electronically produced beats and melody and live vocal. In live performances, Francis' vocal is backed by his pre-produced tracks with the assistance of a DJ while he uses a synthesizer at times. The stage on which Francis performs is largely empty allowing him space to move and dance in a jubilant and energetic manner that he choreographs to correspond with the rhythm of his music. Chance the Rapper joined Francis live on stage at the May 2017 Boston Calling music festival and they performed "May I Have This Dance feat. Chance the Rapper" and recreated the choreographed dance routine that can be seen in the official music video. Francis was observed to climb upon stacked speakers and onto the upper support structure of the stage as well as singing from a tree adjacent the stage during his live performance at the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago on July 15, 2017. As a vocalist, Francis Starlite has a piercing and clear tone has been compared to the voices of Peter Gabriel and Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens), although the music he produces is of a very different style. Francis released his debut studio album, Farewell, Starlite!, on September 24, 2016.


In 2007, Francis and the Lights self-released their debut EP, Striking.

In August 2008, Francis and the Lights self-released their second EP, A Modern Promise.

On November 3, 2008, Starlite incorporated the company Francis and the Lights, LLC, a limited liability company, as an alternative to signing a record deal.[5] It was followed by an investment of $100,000 from the Normative Music Company, giving Francis and the Lights, LLC a valuation of $1 million.[6] Normative's president, Jake Lodwick, a fan of Francis and the Lights, said, "Francis Starlite is an uncompromising musician and a strong leader. I believe he will bring Francis and the Lights to international stardom. The spectacular live shows, beautiful recordings, and his relentless character back me up."[7] In late 2009, Normative Music Company shut down.[8]

On July 20, 2010, Francis and the Lights released their third EP, It'll Be Better, through Cantora Records. It was produced by Francis Farewell Starlite and Jake Schreier.[9]

In 2010, Francis and the Lights toured with Drake, MGMT, Ke$ha, La Roux, and Mark Ronson.[10][11]

In 2013, Francis and the Lights released their fourth EP, Like a Dream.

Drake quoted the 2010 Francis and the Lights song "Get in the Car" on the track "Madonna" from his 2015 mixtape If You're Reading This It's Too Late. The phrase "Big as Madonna" was later used on a shirt that was worn by Madonna during her infamous appearance in Drake's 2015 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival headlining set.[12]

In 2016, Francis and the Lights were featured on Chance the Rapper's "Summer Friends" from his third mixtape, Coloring Book. Francis and the Lights will serve as the opening act on the North American tour dates of Chance the Rapper's Magnificent Coloring World Tour, which run between September 2016 and October 2016.[13]

On May 15, 2016, Starlite released a solo piano song entitled "Thank You," which was recorded on a phone in Justin Vernon's living room.[14][15][16] Vernon later said on Twitter, "This man. I can't say enough words. Recorded right in my living room. I cried then. I love you Fran."[17]

On July 7, 2016, Francis and the Lights released a music video for the new song "Friends" featuring Bon Iver and Kanye West.[18]

On August 13, 2016, Francis and the Lights premiered their debut studio album Farewell, Starlite! during their performance at the Eaux Claires music festival.[19] It was released on September 24, 2016 immediately after a performance of the album at Chance the Rapper's Magnificent Coloring Day festival.

In 2016 Francis and the Lights performed a cover of Dear Theodosia as a duet with Chance the Rapper on The Hamilton Mixtape.[20]

In May 2017, Pusha T signed Francis and the Lights to GOOD Music.



Extended Plays[edit]

  • Striking (2007)
  • A Modern Promise (2008)
  • It'll Be Better (2010)
  • Like a Dream (2013)


  • "LIME/WYN" (2008)
  • "Eiffel Tower" / "The Things That I Would Do" (with inc.) (2011)
  • "Friends" (with Bon Iver and Kanye West) (2016)
  • "See Her Out (That's Just Life)" (2016)
  • "May I Have This Dance" (remix featuring Chance the Rapper) (2017)

Compilation appearances[edit]

Featured appearances/Additional credits[edit]

Film Scores[edit]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ "Francis and the Lights Interview". 12thDisciples Magazine. 9 July 2010. Retrieved 1 Jan 2011. 
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ [3]
  5. ^ Bychawski, Adam (2008-11-04). "Indie band turns itself into company instead of signing record deal". NME. Retrieved 2016-08-21. 
  6. ^ Allen, Dustin (2008-11-04). "Indie Band Goes Venture Capitalist". American Songwriter. Retrieved 2016-08-21. 
  7. ^ "Francis and the Lights Incorporates With $1 Million Valuation". The Normatist. Normative Music Company. 3 November 2008. Archived from the original on 6 December 2008. Retrieved 2016-08-21. 
  8. ^ Lodwick, Jake. "Entrepreneur Bio". Jake Lodwick. Retrieved 21 August 2008. 
  9. ^ "Francis And The Lights - It'll Be Better (CD, Album)". Discogs. Retrieved 2016-08-20. 
  10. ^ "Francis & the Lights Gigography". Songkick. Retrieved 1 Jan 2011. 
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ Kaye, Ben (2016-08-14). "Chance the Rapper recruits Francis and the Lights to open Magnificent Coloring Book Tour". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 2016-08-20. 
  14. ^ [4]
  15. ^ [5]
  16. ^ [6]
  17. ^ [7]
  18. ^ Strauss, Matthew (2016-07-07). "Watch Kanye, Bon Iver, and Francis and the Lights Team Up for New Video "Friends"". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2016-08-17. 
  19. ^ Tanzer, Myles (2016-08-14). "Francis And The Lights Debuts New Album Farewell, Starlite! At Eaux Claires Festival". The Fader. Retrieved 2016-08-20. 
  20. ^ [8]
  21. ^