Incorporating clever combinations of pop and R&B instrumentation with undeniable vocal charm, Melbourne duo Franco have just dropped their new single ‘Money Over Matter’.

With a highly anticipated EP on the horizon, the musical project from vocalist Natalie Slade and acclaimed producer and percussionist Plutonic Lab first introduced their slick sounds with single ‘It’s All On You’, which was quick to turn heads, demonstrating songwriting talent, a delivery marked by edge and attitude. 

We asked Natalie Slade to share her top five favourite female artists with us and she was very happy to oblige.

“Only five!” she protested. “It’s so hard to choose, but here’s five people I love.”

  1. Ella Fitzgerald – the first lady of song, the queen of jazz, the queen of scat. I listened to her records on repeat for weeks at a time, trying to nail her melodies but there’s no beating this woman. Her technique is perfect, her range is epic and she can hit any note she wants to, and her expression is immaculate. In ‘Angel Eyes’ when she says the word ‘disappear’ she actually does disappear… perfect.
  2. Nina Simone – The queen of ‘tell it how it is’. She puts expression before tone and pitch and vocal perfection. I love her voice but I think she’s first and foremost a storyteller who is brilliant at getting the message across to the listener. From ‘I Want a Little Sugar in my Bowl’ where she completely melts you, right through to ‘Mississippi Goddam where she gets you mad and motivated to change things.
  3. Gladys Knight – I wanna cry listening to ‘If I Were Your Woman’. I think she was only 25 or 26 when she recorded that song and yet it’s so jam packed with passion and emotion and her voice is so deep and husky and beautiful. Also ‘Neither One of Us’ and ‘Midnight Train to Georgia’… so incredible.
  4. Donna Summer – disco queen! The first thing I do at a karaoke session is look up any songs by Gloria Gaynor & Donna Summer. Songs like ‘Last Dance’, ‘Hot Stuff’ and ‘Love to Love You Baby’. And you can’t go past ‘I feel Love’. It makes me wish I had a white sparkly jumpsuit and could robot dance a whole better than I actually can.
  5. Mary J Blige – singing ‘Not Gon’ Cry’, I’m pretty sure this was one of my song choices when I was an unusually small 12 year old talent quest entrant. I thought she was the coolest woman in the world – independent, strong, sexy and although I couldn’t sing like her, I so wanted to.