Binging The Good Place the past couple of days must have been a coincidence as I was to write about Francois Klark the same week. He’s definitely a person that would not wind up in the Bad Place. Not at all. With his natural gift of song, he’s giving back with his latest single, “For You.” Growing up in South Africa, he saw a lot of displaced children. Whether it was because of poverty or enslavement – he knew that one day he’d do something about it. With that, everything made from “For You” will go towards Abraham Kriel Children’s Home in Potchefstroom, South Africa. We talked with him about the music, the children, the mission and more.
Kendra: When did you decide music was a necessity in your life?
Francois Klark: I knew from a young age music would be part of the way that I live my life. Music has always been closely tied to family. It was part of our household for as long as I can remember. It was just another way of living everyday life. Lighthearted, silly, beautiful – it was something we did together in our house. Music was in the church pews as we would harmonize with mom, at school in the choir, at barbecues with friends; it was everywhere. It wasn’t until my second year of Graphic Design studies in my hometown that I realized music would become my career, the thing that I would build my life around.
Kendra: More than a necessity, you’ve turned music into a mission of sorts due to your upbringing. “For You” was inspired by the kids you saw suffering on the streets in South Africa. How long has it been since you lived there and when did you decide to start taking action to give back?
Francois Klark: I moved from South Africa to Canada in 2004 to study music. It is incredible how much life has changed and how fast 14 years went by. It’s always been my belief that we’ve been placed on the earth to have a relationship, learn to love, and to help each other. In order to fulfill our purpose we’ve been equipped with certain skills and talents.
Therefore, our first priority to fulfill our purpose with the “tools” we’ve been given. Yes, music has become a means for me to exist and to make a living, but it was first and foremost given to me as a means to accomplish my assignment on this planet. To help others, to build a relationship, and to love. Since day one the driving force for me to pursue music has been the desire to make the world around me better, to “speak” love, and to give of myself, my time and whatever else I have to give.
Kendra: The sales of the song will go towards the Abraham Kriel Children’s Home. Can you tell us a little more about the fundraiser?
Francois Klark: Thank you so much for asking Kendra – Yes, 100% of all the revenue generated by the streams & sales of the song, as well as donations collected through the ‘For You’ Children’s Home Project GoFundMe campaign, will go directly to The Abraham Kriel Children’s Home (AKCH) in Potchefstroom, South Africa. It provides specialized residential services and full-time care to children found in desperate need by the court of South Africa. The home is severely underfunded and relies heavily on community fundraisers to be able to continue caring for the kids.
Kendra: Have you gotten to go back to South Africa to help since relocating to Toronto?
Francois Klark: I’ve been back several times in the last 14 years to visit family and to work on projects. The last time I was directly involved in helping at the AKCH was during my time at University.
Kendra: Other than taking action and giving back, what’s up with the rest of your 2018?
Francois Klark: I recently finished a cross Canada tour. Now I want to refocus my energy by putting as much as I can into the “For You” project. Beyond that and playing a few shows I would like to just take some time to live a little. Improve my limited Spanish, and maybe travel to Oaxaca, Mexico.