Words by Joey Dizon


“It’s all about intimacy—the feeling people get when making love—that inspired the mood and the lyrics,” said Franco Reyes, songwriter, guitarist, vocalist, and de facto leader of reggae-rock powerhouse Franco, when asked about his latest collaboration. This project, with producer/instrumentalist and Baler, Aurora native Mesklun, is titled “Elevate” and was unexpectedly released on all streaming platforms last April 20th—that’s “4/20” for most.


The track, a far cry from the band’s most recent balls-out anthem, “The Fool,” released months before, deviates from the driving rhythms and full-band bombast that most fans are accustomed to. It aims for an almost Sade-esque vibe—perfect for summer nights on the beach with the perfect partner, despite being written during tumultuous times, as Reyes shares.


“I wrote this song amidst the lockdown a few years ago—I was in Baler, dealing with the stress the worldwide pandemic brought upon us, just like everyone else. So, I just holed up in Mesklun’s mini studio and began recording beats and instruments for the track,” Reyes revealed in previous interviews. “Mesklun just gave me the beat—and we just worked on it; just being able to finish at least one song was already a feat during those times; we recorded the vocals in the bathroom to get that ambient, tile-reverb effect and sonic treatment, and everything else—the mixing and mastering process—was done via email and shared files and messages,” the songwriter shared.


Listen here:


As “Elevate” promises to become another favorite rarity—or “B-side,” as most refer to it—that could possibly turn into a live favorite, depending on the occasion and setting. Meanwhile, the band—composed of Reyes, guitarist Paul “Pauldo” Cañada, bassist Dave Delfin, and drummer Victor Guison—started the year 2024 strong with out-of-town gigs and large festival appearances but are currently taking the occasional breaks from the stage to enjoy the rest of the summer season. PULP


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