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Leicester music duo Uncle Frank sign three-album deal

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Uncle Frank have been favourites on the Leicester music scene for more than a decade - and now the years of hard work have been rewarded with a three-album record deal. The duo - Frank Benbini and Na'im Cortazzi - have signed on the dotted line with MITA Records, in a deal they say could be worth hundreds of thousands of pounds. Smiles For Miles, an album they have already worked on and were planning to release independently, will now be put out through MITA later this year. On top of the signing, the band have also been approached by bosses at McDonalds, who have shown interest in using one of their songs in an advert. Frank announced the news today as it was also confirmed the pair would be playing at the De Montfort Hall centenary celebration show in July. "In this kind of climate, even to get a one-album deal with an international label is pretty unheard of, unless you're on X Factor or you're Adele or someone like that," said Frank. "A three-album deal in advance is totally unheard of for an independent act like us, with no big management around. "Me and Na'im initially thought it must be too good to be true." The pair were flown out to a studio in the south of France to play for MITA executives. "We only played five songs and they just offered it to us," said Frank. "They asked us to go out there after hearing a piece of music we'd written for the soundtrack of a Scottish film they were involved with. They heard us and they were blown away." Frank said he did not want to say much about the money involved, but said it was "hundreds of thousands" of pounds. "It's a lucrative deal," he said. "I put a condition in as well - that they have to get me a PK Ripper BMX, which is my favourite BMX from the '80s. They've got 14 days to deliver." And the pair are also hoping to strike a deal with McDonalds. Frank said he hoped to follow in the footsteps of Hollywood star and chart-topper Justin Timberlake, whose single 'I'm Lovin' It' is now synonymous with the fast food chain's adverts. "The first piece of music we sent out, McDonalds said they wanted to use it for a summer campaign," he said. "It's early stages at the minute, so nothing's confirmed, but it would be nice. "I don't eat much McDonalds but if they want to use our music and pay us lots of money to do it then, yeah, I love McDonalds. Give me Justin's money - and (wife) Jessica Biel, too." On a serious note, the singer said he was pleased to see the hard work he and Na'im have put into the duo pay off. Frank, who is also drummer for the internationally renowned Fun Lovin' Criminals, said that side of his work had never made it easier to get his foot in the door for Uncle Frank. "We've been doing this since about 2001 and we both work really hard," he said. "It hasn't come easy. "Anyone who comes to our shows knows the sheer amount of effort we put in." A MITA spokesman said the duo had "a very strong brand and great, timeless tunes." He said: "Uncle Frank convey something that's been sorely missing in music for some time now - that something is soul. "We are looking forward to building a worldwide presence for them." The band will be celebrating with their gig on the main stage at De Montfort Hall at the Simon Says centenary event in July.

Leicester music duo Uncle Frank sign three-album deal


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