I first became aware of Francine Honey and her songs a few years ago, and the lyrics and her voice caught my full attention. “Snowflakes On My Eyelashes” (feat. Beth Nielsen Chapman) was the first song I listened to by her, and it captured my heart – a song about grief and loss all the while offering hope. Watch the poignant and beautiful video here:
I lost myself for hours listening to her other great songs; I Carry On, Come Sit in My Chair, I Soldier On to name a few.
Then a few months ago, this talented singer/songwriter put out a great light-hearted pandemic ditty called “Hunker Down” – check out the video here:
Life can sometimes get so hard that we must make a herculean effort to search for something to help keep us going. Award-winning Canadian singer/songwriter Francine Honey captures this acutely in her searing and soaring new single “Hold On”.
Check out the newest video here:
We caught up with Francine Honey in her home in Ontario, Canada and discussed how her songwriting process works for her. “When the pandemic hit I felt a sense of responsibility as an artist. It is my job to make people feel good, help them through life’s twists and turns. It’s okay to cry, it’s also okay to feel and eventually heal,” explains Honey. “I structure my songwriting into two parts; first the creative part where I take my idea and then let the creative flow through me. Then I put on my editor’s hat to take the song and make it work. When I first started writing, my songs were too long, I have finally figured out how to structure the same message with less verses. For that moment in time, I stay really focused to get my message across and now I have finally created a process that works for me.”
A finalist in the 2021 Blues and Roots Radio International Songwriting Competition, “Hold On” began as a theme song for the 2021 International Network of Personal Meaning (INPM) conference. INPM founder, Canadian psychologist, and professor Dr. Paul T.P. Wong had approached Honey about writing the song based on a poem he had written on the theme: How does one keep going? How does one find joy amidst sadness and grief?
“We met and I took some of his other poems and writings, and we created a theme song for the conference,” Honey says. Wong had included some beautiful lines Honey felt really spoke to the heart, including “we are made of stardust,” and our souls “can reach beyond the stars.”
“Those lines resonated deeply for me given my interest in astrophysics, my work as a healer, and my personal belief that the human spirit is magical and can overcome the biggest of challenges if we keep moving forward and never give up,” she shares. “I loved this song so much, I asked Dr. Wong if I could make a few changes and create my own version to include my belief in the healing power of music, and how a song can have the power to heal a broken heart and take us out of our depths.”
The result is a ballad that begins with piano and then builds rich layers of instrumentation that include an electric guitar, lap steel guitar, mandolin, violin, and harmonica. Honey’s warm, soothing voice threads in and out and soars above showing us, not only through the finely honed lyrics but through highly nuanced emotion, there is a way through the struggle, grief, and pain.
I want to hear that small voice whisper
To my forgotten soul
They say it's never too late to start again
What breaks your heart will make you whole
Recorded in Nashville at Skinny Elephant Recording, “Hold On” was produced by GRAMMY Award-nominated producer Neilson Hubbard; some of Nashville’s finest musicians who have all played on Honey’s songs since 2018 — including Dan Mitchell, Miranda Lambert’s musical director — contributed the piano and background vocals.
Tenacious and dedicated is how I would describe this truly gifted artist, singer/songwriter, Francine Honey.
Keep on eye out for this slow rising country artist; she is bound for great places in the future.
For more on Francine Honey check out her links here: