Franz Rhythm is a family band consisting of a father, Franz Birad, & his three children: daughters Char & Chen & son Dodz. The kids are school age, & the Birad family takes schooling seriously, so music making is never allowed to get in the way of school work. Parents Franz and Lene frequently explain gaps between band posts as being due to school.
They are not apologetic about making school a priority and many of the band’s FB posts show the kids doing homework or heading off to school. Playing music is how different permutations of the talented family bond in their spare time. This is trio version of Franz Rhythm – Franz & his daughters – playing a great cover of a fairly obscure track:
With Char singing and drumming, and with the clear tone of her voice, I am reminded of Karen Carpenter. Terjeberger comments: “Not only a good drummer, but sings like an angel”. The song, When I’m Gone, was a 1981 single released by Albert Hammond, a Gibraltan-English soft rock musician. The song charted in Germany (#50), Switzerland (12) and South Africa (7). Listening to the joyous Franz Rhythm version, you would think that the song was a worldwide top 10 hit that you had somehow forgotten.
Under the video the band comments: “School Homework breaktime.” When the band plays as a full four piece, Dodz, the youngest, takes the drum stool & Char switches to second guitar or keyboards. Sometimes Franz sings lead, & sometimes one of the girls sings lead. All three have great voices. In some videos, Dodz sings backup while drumming. Here is the most popular YouTube video by the full Franz Rhythm line up (2.1M views). It is the band’s 4th most popular track, one behind When I’m Gone (2.3M)
The above video is a cover of a song by Tessy Alfonso, a 1970s and 80s singer from the Philippines, best known by her stage name Sampaguita. She is often referred to as the “Queen of Filipino rock music.”
Franz Rhythm is from Tagbilaran City, Philippines. Franz Rhythm started playing as a Father & Kids Band in 2019. They describe themselves as “a Musician/Solo, Duet, Trio, Full Band/ Family Band Bonding”. They upload videos and shorts, mostly filmed by the mother, Lene, on YouTube where they now have 530K subscribers. They are also active on Facebook (1.8K followers). While the Birad kids tend to be referred to by their nicknames on social media, their given names are Franzene (Chan), Charielou (Char), and Francis (Dodz). Their mother’s name is Arlene (Lene).
Franz Rhythm perform live covers of a wide range of songs, old and new, in English and Filipino languages, in their home studio. They also have a number of original compositions including Unspoken Thoughts & Ibig Ko Sa Iyo’y Di Magbabago. There is a real freshness to their music, and a lot of joy in it too.
Given that the Birad family prioritises the kids’ school and homework, the various permutations of Franz Rhythm are prolific. One gets the sense that this talented family is so musical that learning new songs is not a challenge for them. They also enjoy playing together. They have 288 videos on their YouTube channel. Nonetheless, not all of the videos are songs – there are family excursions and such, there are also videos of the individual children playing different instruments, and there are a number of Franz Rhythm music song compilations that show up in YouTube as videos.
There is clearly a lot of love in the Birad family and it comes through in the music of Franz Rhythms. As Franz Birad says ” Music is like breathing. I don’t get tired of breathing. I don’t get tired of music.” If you would like to see more from Franz Rhythm, you can subscribe to their YouTube channel or follow them on Facebook.