In a horizon full of stars, former Miss Garrison front woman Fran Straube is rapidly emerging as the new phenom out of Chile’s legendary indie scene. Rubio, a cerebral electronic project Straube has been developing and polishing over the last four years, has given the singer, songwriter and prolific percussionist the room for innovation she couldn’t expand into while at the center of a beloved rock band. With the release of her first solo LP last month and now with a brand new video for her single “Fábula,” it’s clear Straube’s hard-earned time in the spotlight is finally upon us.
Rubio’s debut album Pez is the culmination of a year-long adventure that found Straube releasing 5 EPs and getting her esoteric musical ruminations to the public almost as soon as they were completed. Ignoring hype and traditional promotional strategies, the ploy gained Rubio a considerable amount of critical buzz and positive word of mouth. Pez compiles all previous micro-releases into one fully articulated album where you can follow Straube’s creative evolution from beginning to present day, with “Fábula” providing the final piece in Rubio’s textured and far-reaching puzzle.
Beyond creating conceptual sonic art pieces with a dance floor edge, Straube has enjoyed a marathon year with no signs of slowing. Appearances at prestigious music festivals like Primavera Sound, Ruido Fest and Lollapalooza Chile have brought Rubio to the eyes and ears of international audiences, while snagging a highly coveted live session at Seattle’s KEXP studios has elevated the project into highly stringent media circles.
To shed some light on Rubio’s journey, we talked to Fran Straube about the mystical new video for “Fábula,” the creative process that led to completing Pez and how after a year of momentous achievements her plans for world domination are just getting started.
What can you tell us about the concept behind your new video for “Fábula” and the artists that helped bring your vision to life?
It was a beautiful team effort! I met director Matías Troncoso by pure serendipity and we had instant creative chemistry. Matías works at Schkolnick, an excellent and well-known production company in Chile, where people were familiar with my work and eager to collaborate for the “Fábula” video. Lots of talented and passionate people worked on the project, including Carla Gasic who was in charge of the makeup design.
The concept we wanted to adapt was that of sorcerers, dreams and the teachers and ghosts that manifest throughout our lives. We wanted to create an internal journey, psychedelic and magical, – A transformation of the self.
Your album Pez was created and released in a way that defied many music industry conventions. What drove you to this new format and how do you think your creative process has evolved because of it?
It’s interesting how it all came together creatively and strategically as a way of getting the word out on this new project. It kept me creative all year long and everything just flowed. If it gave me chills, I’d just follow that instinct. The way word of mouth spread was awesome. People were ready for the songs but didn’t know what to expect. It was an exciting challenge since I was crafting new songs by the minute.
A distinct collision of electronic experimentation and folk instrumentation can be heard throughout Pez. What can you tell us about this sonic direction and your creative partnership with producer Pablo Stipicic?
I’ve always liked folklore and ethnic music and my dream was to combine what I had in my head with what I carry in my heart – a kind of wind and earth. Electronic music is something I’ve been experimenting with for years and it lends itself to infinite creative possibilities. Working with Pablo [Stipicic] has been wonderful and I really feel like I found a musical soul mate. We try so many different things and listen to what the songs want from us. Studio days are my favorite and we are so free and unafraid to play with new sounds. We can spend hours in the cave and I am very eager for us to keep working together.
This year alone Rubio has released an album, played at numerous international festivals and even recorded a live session at KEXP. With so many amazing achievements under your belt, where do you want to take Rubio next?
At the moment I want to keep growing and sharing Pez. My heart aches with a desire for the world to hear my music and message. I’ve also been dreaming of Mexico and long to receive the energy from that beautiful country.