Humans of Hitchin... Edition 2: Alex Francis


I’m a singer-songwriter based in Stoke Newington but originally from Hitchin. I grew up here, went to school here and started my music career here. I'd describe my music as a blend of contemporary pop with a lean into classic soul! I'm influenced by so many styles of music but my DNA is rooted with singers, bands and songwriters out of the mid 20th century!

Being in this industry is full of highs and lows, it’s a very dynamic choice of career path – it’s probably a therapist’s dream! The highs are very high, and the lows can get you down. However, I’ve been very fortunate during my time working professionally in music, to go out and do some memorable and career defining things. I’ve been able to travel the world with my music. I’ve also been able to perform alongside and collaborate with artists I greatly admire. 
Excitingly one of my songs, ‘Christmas Ain’t Christmas Without You' can be found on the new Cher Christmas Album!

Me and my co-writers thought we’d like to have a go at doing a Christmas song. We knew we wanted to do something that felt in the vein of Slade & Wizard, the early 70s Christmas vibe. It came together quickly but we put it away (mainly as it was June) and it was shelved for a while. Then early 2022, my producer Mark, (who has produced Cher for a long time) let us know she was doing a Christmas album, so our song was pitched to her. Next thing I know I was going in the studio to sing the backing vocals. Getting to hear Cher sing the song we wrote was a very surreal moment. Everybody go and stream it - Track No. 10!


A specific turning point of my career would probably be in 2017
when I collaborated with Melanie C from the Spice Girls.
This was a fantastic opportunity that I couldn’t pass up! Mel C’s music was not really in lane with mine but she had a song for an upcoming album called ‘Hold On.' I went to her studio and we got round a piano and sang it together - then from there we were both like lets 100% do this together! From then it opened a lot of doors for me and my first European tour took place shortly after.

One of my favourite gig memories was from Rhythms of the World, back in the day. It was an exciting time in Hitchin where we would watch in wonderment, seeing Hitchin transform into this huge festival. Me and my friends would always get super giddy - Hitchin felt like a completely different place for the weekend! In 2006, me and my band Roadrunner luckily managed to get a slot in The Arcade, and we literally played yards from where Treat Yo’ Self is now. I was singing and whacking away on a bongo drum and we played a mix of our own songs and covers. Sadly, there is no video evidence but the memory has stuck in my mind as one of my fondest Hitchin memories and one of my earliest of starting to feel like I wanted to get serious about music.

I grew up in a very creative household – I always remember my Mum’s lightbox which was set up on the dining room table. She worked in fashion illustrations when we were little. Outside of music, I was big into art and loved painting and sketching, that was strongly influenced by watching my Mum draw for her work using her paintbrushes and fancy felt tip pens - that we were never allowed to touch! We were always trying to steal her pens, but the old cabinet where they were stored was so old and clanky she would always hear us if we were trying to nab them.

I get my best moments of joy raising my daughter, Honey, with my partner Hanah. She’s just started nursery and she is doing all the awesome milestones. The whimsical, random things she comes out with give me so much joy. My dream is to continue to tour consistently and take my family along to experience it all with me.

Small business shout out – There are so many dynamite independent businesses smashing it on so many levels in Hitchin but I've got to hand it to Cantina Carnitas! They are quite simply crossing me over to the other side with their burrito game. Stay great guys! 

Alex's next headline gig is on Monday 18th December: Live at The Finsbury.
Plus follow what he's up to on @alexfrancismusic

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