24 | Musician | Johannesburg

Theme: 16 Days, 16 Voices 

Carla Franco is a singer and multi-instrumentalist and academic living in Johannesburg. Her journey into music began with her first piano lesson at age 7 which culminated in Franco creating her own songs.

Although Franco has a hearing impairment and 50-60% of her hearing remaining, the self-taught pianist, guitarist and drummer has never allowed it to be a defining factor of her life. At 14 she released her first full-length album which was followed by other releases including her 2020
acoustic EP, Strings. Most notably, Franco was featured on electronic duo Evida’s hit, 1,2,3, which topped the 5FM Dance Chart for several weeks between 2017 and 2018. “In many ways, I am still an able-bodied person but I hope to use my platform to spark more needed conversations
regarding visible and ‘invisible’ disabilities” she says.

As an openly queer woman, representation — particularly of ‘othered’ young people — is at the core of Franco’s craft. “We have done a lot, but we need to do more. So I say again, all lives will not matter until all lives matter. A luta continua.” she says.

Carla Franco is number 14 in the 16 emerging young artists we are profiling this month. In keeping with the essence of the 100 Beautiful Things initiative and honouring South Africa’s youth, we are devoting 16 days to 16 beautiful things created by 16 young creatives who will
share their stories.

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