Francois Fasano: Guitarist for Pixie Lott, Emeli Sande and Jacob Banks

Francois Fasano: Guitarist for Pixie Lott, Emeli Sande and Jacob Banks

Introducing Francois Fanaso, London-based guitarist for Emeli Sande and Musical Director for Pixie Lott. He rose to prominence very quickly after graduating from the Academy of Contemporary Music, landing session work with A-list musicians and moving into musical production. We caught up with him to find our more about his journey...

[MPS]
Who are you working with at the moment?

[FF]
I recently been working with an Artist called Jacob Banks.

[MPS]
Ah, we like Jacob Banks…  and what kind of work do you get the most satisfaction out of
?

[FF]
I'd say big festival stages are the most satisfying for me as, growing up I always dreamed about playing big stages in front of big crowds.

[MPS]
Can you tell us a little bit about your Musical Director work? How does it differ from simply performing or recording with artists?

[FF]
The musical direction side of the industry is very different to just being a session musician. When you're just playing guitar, you have to be "quiet" and just stick to what you're told. When you're in charge of the music direction, you make the decisions and you have to put yourself in every musicians head. Therefore, you have to understand how other instruments work and what they're meant to sound like, as well as focusing on your own instrument. It's a lot of work lol!

[MPS]
Can you pick out a favourite gig?

[FF]
My favourite one was when I played BBC big Weekend with an artist called Emeli Sande. It was such a great stage, weather, team and I personally love her music! Which is always a plus.

[MPS]
Who do you count among your musical influences?

[FF]
My two main influences would be firstly the session guitarist Tim Stewart. Simply for how versatile he is. He would jump from one day playing for Lady Gaga, to a jazz gig, to playing for Janet Jackson, and then rock stages with metal band Suicidal Tendencies. I actually had the opportunity to meet him and play with him and to top it up, he's just the nicest guy! The second would be Musical Director Adam Blackstone. He pretty much musically runs the world, lol. If you're into arranging and music direction and don't know about Blackstone, you've got homework to do haha.

[MPS]
If you could go back to any musical era what would it be
?

[FF]
Definitely the 60's. Just to experience Hendrix Live.

[MPS]
What was your first guita
r?

[FF]
My very first guitar was a nylon guitar as I started with classical but my first electric guitar was an Epiphone Les Paul Bob Marley Signature.

[MPS]
What guitar are you playing at the moment?

[FF]
It really depends on which guitar is required for the gig I'm doing, but my favourites at the moments are my Fano JM6, Haar Telecaster and my 1970 Gibson custom Black Beauty.

[MPS]
Tell us about your BigSky and Ojai, what made you chose them?

[FF]
The BigSky is just the ultimate reverb pedal, it doesn't get better than this, lol. The Ojai is just the perfect addition for gear heads when they want more pedals on their boards.. haha

[MPS]
What else do you have on your pedalboard?

[FF]
Check out these pictures (inset below)

[MPS]
Can you think of anything that really changed things for you?

[FF]
The Lazy J model 20. My good friend and mentor Jonas Jalhay lend me his for a few months before I moved to the UK and that little thing literally put all the others amps I owned and tried to bed straight away.. it's just unbelievable. I've got 2 J's now, the 20 and the 80.

[MPS]
Is there any advice you can offer to people starting out on their musical journeys?

[FF]
I'd say believe in yourself! If this kid from Belgium could end up doing some sort of work in London, anyone can do it! Just be professional, on time and be nice to people. People would never book you if they don't wanna hang with you in the first place.

 

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