Brit-nominated Frances explains why she lent her song to Refuge

Brit-nominated Frances' song Grow was made into an animated video by Refuge and Bartle Bogle Hegarty.

The video dramatises the real-life domestic abuse suffered by Refuge client Melanie Clarke. It allowed Refuge to reach its audience without any media spend. Hollywood animation director Clay Kaytis, who shot The Angry Birds Movie, was a creative consultant on the project.

Tell us about the music video

The aim is to ensure women who experience domestic violence realise they are not alone and that Refuge can support them. The film depicts a woman going about her daily life – except that, due to the abuse she is experiencing, she becomes visibly more isolated.

One day, she meets a character representing Refuge, who recognises what she is going through and supports her to escape the abuse and rebuild her life.

How did you get introduced to Refuge/BBH?

I met BBH at SXSW in 2016. They heard me perform Grow and said they knew straight away that it would be perfect for the Refuge video they were working on.

Why did you decide to be part of the project?

Refuge/BBH invited me to be a part of their visual campaign and I just couldn’t refuse. I was very moved by Melanie’s story and was so happy to be asked to be a part of the whole thing.

I want nothing more than to give something back with my music and I hope that this video will resonate with people all over the world, especially with women who are experiencing domestic violence and needing help. Refuge is there for them – we want people to realise they are not alone.

How long did it take to create the music video?

I believe it took around six months to a year. Putting together an animation is a long process.

Describe your songwriting process

It’s very different for each song. I pretty much always sit at the piano to write, but sometimes an idea for a song will come to me at a totally random time and I have to reach for my phone to record it.

What inspires you?

Everything around me, really. People, places and personal experiences.

What was it like to be nominated at the 2016 Brit Awards?

Very cool. It was very early in my career so it was quite a shock. A lovely one, though. 

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