Saturday, September 22, 2012

James Franco's Daddy debut album features Smokey Robinson, inspired by work in Detroit

Ann Oldenburg/USA Today

The Renaissance man strikes again!

"I know I do a lot of things," James Franco tells Rolling Stone. "I'm very aware of that."

The actor/artist/writer/director announced plans to release his first musical collaboration -- under the name Daddy -- with musician-artist Tim O'Keefe. Their debut album, "MotorCity," will be out Tuesday and features guest vocals by Motown legend Smokey Robinson.

"I'm sure there are a lot of skeptical people, hearing about me doing music," Franco says. "To me, it all comes from a similar place. It's like using different tools to express things in different ways." premiered the duo's first video, directed by Franco, for "Love in the Old Days." Listen for Franco's spoken-word lyrics.

According to the release with news of the new music, MotorCity was written and recorded while Franco, 34, was based in Detroit for the filming of "Oz: The Great and Powerful" and pays tribute to "the ballads, funk, soul, and heartfelt themes of love and loss that were ever-present in the music of that time."

While driving in a car listening to Robinson's classic song "Cruisin," Franco and O'Keefe first discussed forming Daddy. Then, by chance, Franco found himself on the same flight as the Motown legend and asked him to contribute to the album. Robinson graces Daddy's debut on the original and remix versions of the song "Crime."

According to Franco and O'Keefe, who met as students at the Rhode Island School of Design (they both graduated in May) the motivation behind Daddy is "to push beyond the sonic space of music into the surrounding ecology."

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