Genesis drummer Phil Collins wrote the music for his power ballad Against All Odds when he was preparing for his first solo album Face Value (1981). He decided against including the song on his first two solo records. This was handy, as when Collins was approached to contribute a song to the movie Against All Odds (1984), he already had the music.
The lyrics, written especially for the film, are an appeal for reconciliation with an ex-lover, even though the protagonist knows that this is unlikely. Collins has said that the lyrics for his first US number were influenced by the break up of his first marriage. Here is Greg Francis with a beautiful acoustic cover of the Collins hit.
With the tranquil sea and Greg Francis’s effortless singing, watching the video is almost like going on vacation. Except, of course, the song is about lost love rather than paradise found. Part of the appeal of Francis’s version is his uncluttered arrangement. Devin on Earth captures this aspect in his comment: “Such a seemingly simple arrangement that is so pure and beautiful, and lets your voice shine through. Such a masterful performance of one of my favorite heartbreak songs”.
Francis Greg Dagatan, to give his full name, is a 29-year-old singer from Cogon Cruz, Danao City, Philippines. In 2016 he competed on the TV singing showTawag ng Tanghalan (TNT) where he won fans, if not the singing competition. Francis Greg’s breakthrough to broader public attention came when a video of him singing Lukas Graham’s Love Someone at a 2019 gig in Cebu City was uploaded to TikTok by his girlfriend, Chantel Murdoch. It went viral. Here is Greg’s most popular YouTube video:
Bruno Mars wrote It will Rain for the movie The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011). Released as a single, it was an international hit and reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Francis Greg’s cover of It Will Rain has 53M YouTube views, which is good going for a singer who only started his YouTube channel in July 2020 after his girlfriend took him by surprise by posting Love Someone on TikTok without his knowledge. “I honestly didn’t know that my video was uploaded. I was surprised and happy at the same time when I knew that a lot of people appreciated my talent,” Greg told the Cebuano Daily News.
Speaking about Greg’s viral cover of It Will Rain, vocal coach and singer Yazik emphasises Greg’s clean voice, the “super nice” tone that he has as a tenor, and the effortlessness of his singing. “It just comes out, no tension, no nothing, just enjoying the moment and an occasional nice little vibrato, and consistent tone,” Yazik says. He adds that Greg sings so effortlessly, that he can imagine Greg singing for five hours in a row, without getting over tired.
All told, Francis Greg has 11 YouTube videos with over 1M views and 3 videos that are just bubbling under. He is a great example of an unpretentious singer attracting a large audience through the quality of his voice and the appeal of his song choices. In a social media environment where hype is rampant, Francis Greg is like a breath of fresh air on a Pacific Ocean beach. If you would like to see more from Francis Greg, you can subscribe to their YouTube channel or follow them on Facebook.