Jordan Feller and Marc Gilfry of Neil Frances On How They’ve Made It to Where They Are Today
Since going viral on TikTok, it seems that nearly everyone has discovered the dynamic duo that is Neil Frances. While Neil Frances might sound like a singular name, it is actually a duo made up of musicians Jordan Feller and Marc Gilfry. Most recognized as DJs, Neil Frances doubles as an actual band, proving that authentic vocals and real instruments have not (and will never) go out of style. Though the two met in 2012, it took four years before Gilfry and Feller decided to team up. Thanks to their individual talents and solid chemistry, Neil Frances has made some major moves and stellar tunes.
Before meeting through their booking agent, Gilfry and Feller were literally on opposite sides of the world. Feller grew up in Sydney, Australia, and Gilfry was born and raised just outside of Los Angeles in Rancho Cucamonga. Eventually, Feller made a move to London while Gilfry moved to New York, and they eventually made their way back to LA around the same time. “After I finished school, I started promoting club nights and then I taught myself how to DJ,” explains Feller. “The club promoting things sort of burned out for me, so I started really pursuing DJing and then it just kind of snowballed from there. I couldn’t really imagine doing anything at this point.”
Gilfry, on the other hand, always knew that he wanted to pursue a career in music. “Apart from the time that I wanted to be a stunt car driver when I was a kid, I’ve always wanted to have a career making music,” Gilfry says. “Everyone in my family has kind of done music, and I have a lot of family members that are classical musicians.”
In 2021, Neil Frances released a cover of the song “Music Sounds Better With You” by Stardust. This groovy and catchy tune quickly became a fan favorite. In 2022, the fun and upbeat rendition went viral. “That was so absurd; it was crazy,” Gilfry says with a laugh. From dancing videos to funny skits, the song has been everywhere across the social media platform. Now, the song has more than 100,000,000 plays on Spotify.
Collaboration has also played a huge role in Neil Frances’ success and sound, and being able to bounce ideas off one another has yielded groovy results that are worthy of going viral.
Though Neil Frances is looking forward to ringing in 2023 by performing at Prohibition NYE at Union Station, there were a couple of major moments from 2022 that set the bar for future performances pretty high. “The highlight of 2022 was a show that we played in Mexico City where we were opening for a band called Jungle,” recalls Gilfry. “It was amazing; 20,000 people in a stadium and the audience was incredible. They were all just so enthusiastic, and it was an amazing feeling to play in front of such a big force.”
There is still much on the horizon for Neil Frances, however, including an exciting show in Brazil in March 2023. “I’d love a sunset set at Coachella,” Feller says when discussing his dream festival to headline. “I’d love a small stage on the side. Don’t get me wrong, I’d take the main stage, but I’d really love just a nice tent off to the side right when the sun is going down.” Other festivals that would be a dream for the duo include Glastonbury and Primavera in Spain.
When it comes to being able to perform with anyone alive or dead, Iggy Pop is the top pick for Gilfry. Feller, on the other hand, would choose James Brown and Bootsy Collins.
In regards to any advice they’d give fellow artists and DJs looking to make it in the music industry, the message is simple: keep going. “Work hard and give yourself time,” Gilfry says. “You know, we’re not spring chickens. We’ve been doing this a long time, and we’re just lucky to have had a bit of success now.” Feller added that belief in oneself is another major key to progress. “Believe that if you create and release quality stuff, an audience will come. People will find you,” he shares.
“I’ve been lucky enough to DJ for a large portion of my adult life,” Feller went on to explain. “Even in college, to fund going to school I would go and play really long DJ sets for like four or five hours in a bar, and I think that’s really informed my taste over the years. You can just kind of sit in the background and no one’s really listening to you, but you’re providing a soundtrack for a Friday or Saturday night for people to drink and have a good time to.”
Allie Lebos graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2017 with a BA in Communication. While in school she was a staff writer at The Daily Nexus for nearly two years. Since graduating she has written for The Palisades Magazine, as well as Hidden Hills Magazine. Currently living in Santa Monica, Allie loves to indulge in good food, hot yoga, and daily walks along the beach; writing articles on travel, special events, as well as features on local businesses and individuals.