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Galaxy Francis Talks Name Change, “The Shining” On Vocalo

Written by on March 8, 2023

After the premiere of his new single “The Shining” on Vocalo, multi-hyphenate Chicago artist Galaxy Francis, formerly L.A. VanGogh, shared how his self-rebrand was a long time coming.

“I’m finding freedom in the multitude of myself.”

– Galaxy Francis

Formerly known as L.A. VanGogh, Galaxy Francis is a multifaceted rap and R&B artist based in Chicago. Francis has had a presence in the Chicago music scene for years; he worked as a producer, engineer and even a background vocalist, and released two albums and several singles as L.A. VanGogh before going silent in 2021. 

Resurfacing in 2022, he became reborn as Galaxy Francis and released three singles. In February 2023, Galaxy released his fourth single, “The Shining,” featuring Jay Wood, which made its radio debut prior to its official release as part of Vocalo’s February on-air rotation.

The name change was not done lightly, as Francis, a self-proclaimed etymologist, understands the importance of words in relation to identity. When deciding on a new name, he wanted something all-encompassing, and which spoke to the expansive nature of his career and his talents. He felt the change to “Galaxy Francis” allows him to create the space he needs as an artist.

“I’ve been wanting to change my artist name for years,” Francis explained. “I just wanted to create space for all of my talents… like my singing, my rapping, my production, my engineering, and it was an acceptance of everything that I am and everything that I wanted to be.” 

Galaxy Francis outside the Vocalo studios on Feb. 15, clad in a Minion mask and a yellow fleece sweatshirt covered in logos for Stanley Kubrick’s ‘The Shining’ — which is also the name of his new single. Bekoe/Vocalo

Francis has been crafting his musical identity from childhood, recalling writing songs during his social studies class in fourth and fifth grade. He noted specifically songs like Snoop Dogg’s “Gin and Juice,” produced by Dr. Dre and Emanuel Dean, inspired him to write and produce music first for himself, then others. In his teenage years, he began learning more about music and how it all worked together.

Now, having been making music since his debut release as L.A. VanGogh in 2016, Galaxy has found community in the city’s music scene and working with other local artists. He said there have been two collaborations most influential to him: his partnership with Manasseh, and the tutelage he received from Matt Hennessy.

The day of his new single’s release, Francis stopped by the Vocalo studios to discuss “The Shining” and his name change with Bekoe. The two also discussed how Francis practices intention with his words, dealing with anxiety and a new project in the works.

Keep up with Galaxy Francis on Twitter and Instagram

Introduction by Joshua X. Miller, Omi Salisbury, Morgan Ciocca

Interview hosted by Bekoe

Audio editing by Joshua X. Miller, Morgan Ciocca

Video editing by Bekoe, filmed by Jayvon Ambrose

Photography by Bekoe

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