“‘Passenger Princess’ brings timely joy to the table when you didn’t ask for it.” -Francisco Martin
Francisco Martin was born and raised in the Bay Area (specifically, the city that shares his name) into a musically fertile household. Self-taught as a child, Francisco mastered drums, guitar, piano, and several other instruments, taking his talent to local stages while playing with musicians several years his senior. He later earned the titles ‘writer-producer’ as he began to dabble in poetry and experiment with SoundCloud, where he amassed a following for his original renditions of favorite covers.
Francisco first shot to fame with American Idol season 18 in 2020 where he placed Top 5. From there, he quickly released a few singles before embarking on a fall coast-to-coast tour. His heart-on-sleeve soulful pop has garnered favorable comparisons to songwriter artists such as James Bay, John Mayer, Maggie Rogers, and Ed Sheeran. To date, Francisco has released several hit singles, including “Swollen,” which has amassed close to 8 million streams across all DSPs (with 6 million on Spotify). Francisco’s previous single, “If U Need Me,” premiered on PopMatters. He put out his debut EP, Beautiful Ramblings of a Restless Mind, in 2021.
Relocating to Los Angeles in pursuit of full-time artistry, Francisco realized he had an all-consuming yearning to be his authentic self in his music. He emerged with his first true artistic statement, a 6-song EP called Manic—a bold collection of emotionally raw pop-rock—in the fall of 2022.
Francisco continues to carry the same momentum with his forthcoming single “Passenger Princess” to release February 2023. In this song that pays obvious homage to the viral internet trend of girls who don’t drive but get driven spoiledly, life is viewed through a wide-angle lens—cinematic landscapes of sunsets and the PCH. Whereas Francisco’s sophomore EP contains starkly unapologetic and unafraid chronicling, “Passenger Princess” is a tapestry of TikTok that includes aesthetic hedonism and mesmerizing melodies that make you want to go for a drive just because.
Francisco’s dreamy falsetto and robust belting are the conduits of lyrical content exploring mental health, relationships, angst, and human disconnection in the age of connection. Now, we move into the lighter-hearted territory of “Passenger Princess”, where pleasure and happiness as the highest good is your crush’s feet on your dashboard. This lullaby for the long-distance driver shows us a different side of Francisco—softer, more sensitive, more serene. The lyricism takes pages out of the Urban Dictionary, making a meme into music.
“‘Passenger Princess’ brings timely joy to the table when you didn’t ask for it. Its free radical-like soundscape and subtle pull for attention bridges the gap between my influences of indie rock and soul,” he expresses.
When we listen to this track, it places right in the car next to Francisco as we ride around with the top down on a bright and sunny day. This captured feeling is the essence of this song, and makes us want to keep coming back for more over and over again. The beautiful vocal delivery from Francisco atop the upbeat and bright instrumental can be described perfectly with a chef’s kiss. I find myself enamored by the entire song from start to finish, making it quite easy to hit replay.
Be sure to check out “Passenger Princess” by Francisco Martin now streaming on all platforms, and give him a follow on social media below!
Written By: Bryce Quartz