DVC rapper French Vanilla finds the spotlight


Photo taken by Matt Saatchi

French Vanilla performing at Sweet Fingers in San Leandro on March 17th, 2015.

Marcel Scott, Staff member

French vanilla: an ice cream flavor, a Starbucks coffee and … a rapper?

Francesca Castaldi, aka French Vanilla, is an emerging rap artist who’s also a Diablo Valley College student.

Her music blends sounds of hip-hop artists like Missy Elliot, The Black Eyed Peas, Eminem and Atmosphere.

Castaldi learned at a young age she wanted to be a singer, and she also wanted the attention that came with it.

“Growing up as a little girl, I always wanted to be something,” she said. “I wanted to be noticed, like a diva in the spotlight; I just always knew I wanted to be singing and dancing on a stage.”

When French Vanilla gets on stage, it’s obvious that her childhood dream of being in the spotlight comes true, and the energy and excitement she brings proves she belongs.

Her Soundcloud page is full of the highest praise, “Another great one from senorita Vanilla. Like your style a lot!” said the Swedish Metal group Son of Axe about her song “Good Day ft. Kevin Mann.”

“The production is on point and along with the lyrics it’s (good),” said Felix Traye aka Kalidoses on French Vanilla’s song “Happiness in a Bag ft. James Lee & TYJAKA & Kevin Mann.”

But with all of these great comments, one question still persists: Why the name French Vanilla?

Castaldi explained how as a kid her friends couldn’t pronounce her first name, Francesca, so they began calling her Frenchy.

 “As I started rapping, I needed a name, so for a long time I was just called French,” she said. “But you know I thought that was a little bland and simple, so I wanted something that stood out that would make people say ‘what is that? So I came up with French Vanilla because that’s just the classic flavor. You can add stuff to it to make it better, or you can just have it as it is.”

French Vanilla, the classic flavor that just doesn’t get old, is now an artist who’s making classic hip-hop and living out her childhood dream.