Interview with Kam Franklin, lead singer of the Houston, Texas based band The Suffers on 7/23/16 at The Newport Folk Festival.
Q: How did you get started in music?
A: “I started playing when I was 5 years old in the Baptist churches back in Houston, and I started performing in bands in high school. I’ve been performing ever since.”
Q: Has there been an evolution of the genre of music you’re attracted to?
A: “ I think its constantly evolving. I started doing gospel music, but I got into soul and hip-hop and then, in high school, ska and punk and reggae. As I’ve gotten older it’s everything from traditional country to traditional pop, classical jazz, everything.“
Q: Have you always known you’d be a professional musician? Ever since you were 5 years old singing in those churches?
A: “ Yeah I think I’ve always known it would be what I did. I just didn’t know in what capacity. When you grow up seeing people on TV thinking, ok yeah I’ll be Janet Jackson too, I’ll be Madonna too, and now I don’t think that’s the direction I want to go. But if I could have a career like Mavis or like Gladys Knight I’d be eternally happy. “
Q: So, what’s next for you?
A: “Well… I want to travel the world with my band; I want to release our next record, and just to do this fulltime forever. This is our second year touring fulltime. While it gets discouraging sometimes because of the way we have to do it (Everything we do is pretty much independent), it is extremely rewarding and I just really look forward to all the adventures we have coming up together.”
Q: So, you really like the traveling aspect of it?
A: “I love the travelling aspect of it! I get to see things that I never-ever thought I’d get to see, and I learn to appreciate the United States in a way that I never used to. I used to almost fantasize about so many other countries because the way that they advertise the beauty. But some the most beautiful things I’ve seen have been right here in the US.