Kirk Franklin says it was “pretty traumatic” recording ‘Father’s Day’ amid connecting with his biological father

Chris Cavanaugh

The Rebirth of the Fearless Hero — that’s the original title for Kirk Franklin‘s 14th studio album

But life-altering information Franklin received while recording the album prompted the change to Father’s Day: he received unexpected details about his biological father’s whereabouts.

He told ABC Audio that dealing with the newness in the middle of crafting the album was beyond difficult.  

“It was pretty traumatic,” he said. “It was so out of body that it really felt like I was watching someone else have to experience something.”

Franklin, who grew up knowing he’d been adopted, revealed that a “really disturbing” phone call from a woman he sings with led to meeting his birth father after more than 50 years.  

“And so, art imitates life,” Franklin said, adding the surprise revelation “naturally impacted the lyrics.”

Despite the heaviness that persisted in his personal life at the time, Franklin tried not to create depressing records. “That would have been counterintuitive to the message that I’ve always tried to speak,” he said.

Instead he created the usual upbeat, hip-hop-heavy, feel-good, contemporary gospel the 19-time Grammy winner is known for producing. 

If fans listen closely, they’ll notice Franklin’s creative ability to interpolate one of the most tumultuous times in his life with the fun tracks. Like “Try Love,” the “boppy” song that offers a sneak peek: “I didn’t know much, much about love/ the way it was supposed to be … The many dark days, The times I felt betrayed, by the ones that were supposed to love me/ It’s the only kind of love I’ve known.”

That was the ebb and flow of recording, Franklin said: “Put on face but every now and then, the cracks would come through.”

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.