In 2003 Frankie J crashed the ladies hearts with “Suga Suga” and kept them glued to the speaker with “Obsession” in 2004. Frankie proved he was more than a Latin artist doing R&B, but rather simply an R&B artist. After showing and proving he is here to stay, Frankie J is adding a touch of hip hop on his new album, while still sticking to his formula of taking care of the ladies.
For the past three years you have consistently released records, did you ever want to stop and take a break?
Frankie J: I actually believe the moment you take a break is the moment people forget about you. For me there is no room for that – I have to keep grinding and going because in this business it is crucial and people will forget you the moment you decide to lay back. The moment I decide to lay back is when I sell 30 million records worldwide. You just have to go until you can’t go anymore.
On this album you went with more hip hop flavor versus your usual ballad style, why is that?
Frankie J: I just wanted to do something different because everybody has always known me as the balladeer. “Can he really do a club record was the question on my Myspace and website.” Fans who visited my website [http://www.frankiejonline.com/] were always asking me about “when are we going to hear you in the club.” I thought what better way to do it than with Mannie Fresh. Mannie Fresh really hasn’t worked with many R&B cats; it brought a different element to music and it’s definitely a club record people can enjoy listening to and dance to. It gave me a whole other vibe and gave my fans a whole other side of me.
So you’re trying to get people to take off their clothes in the club?
Frankie J: (laughter) I’m trying to do a little club thing here and there. When you have your music up in the club it definitely helps you sell records. When you go out to have a good time, you listen to the music and vibe to it. That helps you as an artist and individual to be on top of the game. It makes you an artist everybody wants to get to know.
On your first single “That Girl” it talks about a woman who is the total package. What qualities make “That Girl?”
Frankie J: “That Girl” for me is somebody who understands me, someone who is down for my career, someone that doesn’t under-estimate me, someone who is warm-hearted and has a great sense of humor. Basically somebody who is down for me because at the end of the day all you want to do is come home relax with a girl you want to be with. If this person doesn’t understand what you want to do then there are problems. “That Girl” really has to be a perfect fit. Maybe there is no such thing as a perfect girl but definitely somebody who will cater to you at all times and understand where you’re coming from.
So she doesn’t have to be like your mom?
Frankie J: (laughter) She doesn’t have to be like my mom. She has to have some features but she doesn’t have to be equal to my mom. Though I do think it would be cool to have a girl like my mom because she is a wonderful woman.
What is the concept or storyline to this album?
Frankie J: Every single song on this album tells a story about things that I experienced or situations I have experienced through friends of mine whom have told me experiences. It is an album people can relate to, a lot of these songs are heart felt songs. You get glued to the storyline and that is the most important thing; come across well with your storyline, it’s like writing a book.
With the Latin market emerging with Reggaeton, Hip Hop and more R&B, how does it feel to be one of the artists to lead the way for others?
Frankie J: It is definitely an honor to be looked up to as a leader, as somebody who started the whole Latin thing in the R&B world. It is cool that there is another artist doing what Frankie J is doing. It is like paving the way for other up-and-coming artists. There are so many talented people out there and a lot of the talent needs to be discovered. It is a good feeling to be doing something positive for our people and be looked up as a role model.
On this album did you cater to Latinos?
Frankie J: This album I didn’t cater to Spaniards, I kept it more on the English tip.
Are you going to be coming out with a Latin album?
Frankie J: I came out with two records this year. As far as another Spanish album coming out, it will probably be a year from now.
What is the difference when you are writing a record for the Anglo market versus the Latin market?
Frankie J: Doing an R&B record in Spanish in the Latin market is still being noticed, not a lot of people recognize the sound. In English it is more advanced so you have to take it down a notch because people are already familiar with the style of music. It is the same formula; cater to the ladies – just try to win the hearts of all the ladies listening to your music. Once you get the ladies, the fellas come after that because they have the girlfriends that love you and they are forced to love you. (laughter) It is more of a challenge in the Latin market because people are just trying to grasp it.
If you could have your own celebrity TV show, which one would it be?
Frankie J: As a matter of fact there are talks about me doing a reality TV show with MTV with a Latin group called M.O.D. They were a big group back in the day and they are trying to bring them back. They want me to do this reality TV show as me being the producer of the group, writing the songs for the group and coaching them through vocals. Hopefully it will be on 2007.
Who would you have picked for your winner of “Flavor of Love?”
Frankie J: Crazy, she is hot! She is beautiful! I love her, she is an incredible woman, but I really don’t understand what they see in Flav. Is it the money, fans or popularity? They are all beautiful girls.
– Watch “That Girl” Video —— By: Interview By Adeniyi Omisore