War against apathy

Franc Friday

“I don’t consider myself a rapper, but as a young musician, a young artist,” says Evynn Tyler, a.k.a. Franc Friday.

“I don’t consider myself a rapper, but as a young musician, a young artist,” says Evynn Tyler, a.k.a. Franc Friday.

Photo/Anna Hart

For more information, visit https://soundcloud.com/francfriday.

What do Björk, Sylvia Plath and the X-Men all have in common? They all provide inspiration for local rapper Franc Friday. Evynn Tyler, the man behind Franc Friday, has been rapping since 2012, after becoming interested in hip-hop music only two years prior.

Franc Friday’s songs act as a biopsy of sorts of Tyler’s musical background. Throughout his work, there are clear elements of chillwave, experimental music and, of course, hip-hop, all of which show the influences that Tyler draws from, like the ambiance of Neon Indian, the eccentricity of Björk, and the rhythmic flow of Jean Grae.

Another facet of inspiration comes from his classical training, after playing violin for over a decade.

“I don’t consider myself a rapper, but as a young musician, a young artist,” says Tyler. “[I] think of my voice as an instrument of percussion, working in concert with all of the other musical elements on any given track.”

The name Franc Friday has several components: allusions to literary characters, alliteration patterns of comic book hero names, and a reference to France’s defunct currency. It even shows how Tyler views hip-hop.

“I wanted the name to have a kind of feminine appearance to it, to spit in the face of hip-hop’s obsession with cartoonish masculinity,” says Tyler.

This back story falls in place alongside Tyler’s challenges of misogyny, homophobia and the patriarchal system. But it isn’t a war on male-centric thinking that Tyler is waging. It’s a war against apathy and complacency.

According to Tyler, “If there’s a form of oppression, you have to ask yourself, 'What are you doing to subtract from it?'"

In a manner of confessional poetry reminiscent of Sylvia Plath, Tyler also addresses tough social issues, like consumerism and disparity in wealth, as well as discrimination.

But the essence of Franc Friday’s music brings forth the concept of self-actualization, an idea that promotes creative expression, a quest for knowledge and fulfilling one’s potential.

It’s something that Tyler found in comic books, a literary source he believes is overlooked, in the stories of superheroes, like the X-Men.

“The X-Men dealt with oppression, racism and homophobia,” says Tyler. “Although it was through the allegory of mutants, I identified with that. They represent the idea of the highest projection of oneself and the ultimate man.”

That idea is something Tyler has cultivated in himself.

“I was an F student,” says Tyler. “I came from a broken home, like so many others in our generation. … I didn’t feel like I had control of my life. Then [one of my teachers] told me I could find control and agency through writing and education. It opened up a whole other world to me.”

He has a bachelor’s degree in English and is on his way to do graduate study in marketing and communications in New York. He hopes to help others. Currently, he’s planning a concert to raise money by donation for a non-profit organization based in New York called Literacy for Incarcerated Teens, which provides books for imprisoned teenagers.

“It spoke to me,” says Tyler, in reference to the organization. “Reading and writing is so meaningful to me. I wanted to give back.”

For Tyler, music provides not only a creative outlet, but a vehicle to better himself and motivate others.

Along with writing more music and designing new merchandise, available online, Franc Friday is currently performing and appearing around Reno.