Francesco Yates grew up collecting Coca-Cola bottles. Now he’s singing about them.
The 19-year-old Canadian artist can be heard on the infectious soundtrack to a yearlong global marketing campaign celebrating the 100th birthday of the iconic Coca-Cola bottle. “Nobody Like You” simultaneously tells a traditional love story and celebrates the unique contour shape of theCoca-Cola bottle and the special moments and connections it continues to inspire.
“We were able to flip the script and make the song both about a significant other and the bottle,” Yates says of the tune, which was written by the hit-making duo Rock Mafia. “The song explains it perfectly… there really is nothing like the Coca-Cola bottle.”
“Nobody Like You” is available on iTunes and Spotify and will appear on radio and in Coca-ColaTV ads in more than 140 countries throughout 2015. A remix of the track overlays clinks, “pffts” and other signature Coke bottle sounds, plus samples from past Coca-Cola jingles like “Things Go Better With Coke” and “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke.”
“When I first heard the demo, my engineer and I had the melody and all the words after just onelisten… which rarely happens,” Yates recalled just minutes before performing the song live for the first time on opening night of a commemorative #CokeBottle100 exhibit at Atlanta’s High Museum of Art.
“It was instantaneous,” he continued, “and that’s how music should be.”
Coca-Cola – and, more specifically, the Coke bottle – has been a constant fixture in Yates’ life. Growing up in Toronto, he and his friends would head out in search of an ice-cold Coke after a game of street hockey.
“But there was only one store that carried the glass bottles like this one,” Yates recalls, pointing to one in his hand, “so that’s where we’d go. I would keep the empty bottles and line them up in my room.”
Yates caught the music bug at age 11, swapping his hockey stick for a guitar. He enrolled in summer music camps and started writing songs. His soulful vocals and instrumental talent – he plays guitar, piano, bass, drums and harmonica – landed him a management deal at 14 and a recording contract with Atlantic Records two years later. He plans to release an EP this year, followed by his first full-length album.
Yates, who sports an impressive afro and speaks with a calm, deliberate cadence, describes his sound as “pop music at the root, with a sprinkling of my influences,” which span from soul and funk to classic and alternative rock. Like the Coke bottle, Yates’ songs feel both both contemporary and timeless.
“Certain things come and go, but the Coke bottle is eternal,” he said. “It’s an iconic shape that will never go out of style. It stands the test of time just as good music does.”
That synergy caught the collective ears of Deviant Ventures and FRUKT, who introduced Yates to Coca-Cola last year.
“We were looking for an emerging artist who was youthful and uplifting, yet also paid homage to classic styles and sounds,” explains Joe Belliotti, head of global music marketing at Coke. “Francesco is an incredible young talent and person, and we’re thrilled to bring ‘Nobody Like You’ to the world.”
For decades, Coke has leveraged music to tell its story and evoke emotional connections with fans. The brand has collaborated with legends like Ray Charles and up-and-comers like K’NAAN. Yates looks forward to continuing this rich legacy and seeing where the anthem’s journey will take him.
“Music is a code everyone can understand and relate to… it has no barriers,” he concludes. “I want this song to connect with people in a visceral way. I want to make them feel, not think.”