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Frankie J. Biography

Last updated: 12/01/2013 05:52:06 AM

Frankie J.-photo
Frankie J
What's A Man To Do?

Blessed with a Love Man's passion and a B Boy swagger, singer/songwriter Frankie J is making his move with a sound both sexy and soulful on What's A Man To Do?, his Columbia Records debut. Featuring songs and production from Frankie as well as Jaime Galvez (KC Porter) and Happy Perez (Mystikal, Master P, Cash Money Millionaires), the album states Frankie's case with a blend of lush R&B, hip-hop infused club tracks and an emotional directness that will touch your heart.

You've already heard Frankie's romantic ways courtesy of the smash single, "Don't Wanna Try," which has taken Rhythm, Top 40, and even A/C by storm. Written and produced by Frankie, "Don't Wanna Try" is a simmering ballad that breaks down the fall of a relationship and cuts to the heart and soul of love with lyrics that are deeply personal, but universal in their scope and appeal. "That song comes from personal experience," says Frankie, "but I know everyone has gone through a similar situation where you realize that the love just isn't there anymore and you know you have to walk away."

Another song that deals with love and relationships is the edgy title track, also written and produced by Frankie, "What's A Man To Do?," a track laced with sexy attitude with Frankie testifying about an affair that's hit a rough patch. "Everyone asks why I write all these sad love songs," Frankie laughs, "but these kind of emotions really ring true and this song, which is about a man being fed up but not knowing if he should give in to temptation, is really honest."

Equally honest and emotional is the lush ballad, "Be Home Soon," which unfolds the story of a couple separated by work and their poignant desire to see each other again. The song is a favorite at Frankie's concerts and he recently has been dedicating it to the soldiers in Iraq and elsewhere. "'Be Home Soon' is a really touching song," he explains.

Of course Frankie has more on his mind than breakups and sorrow. His album is also juiced up with gritty grooves and street informed energy as witnessed by the party ready cut, "Drinks On Me," featuring newcomer Baby Bash.

While What's A Man To Do? might be Frankie's solo debut, it is not the first time audiences have had the opportunity to fall under his vocal spell. A former member of the Grammy-nominated Latin pop group A.B. Quintanilla y Los Kumbia Kings -- whose 1999 debut sold half a million copies -- Frankie has been making music since his teens.

Born In Tijuana, Mexico, Frankie and his family moved to San Diego, California, when he was 2. Both his grandfather and father were musical and as a young child Frankie loved to sing and would often entertain his family. Spanish was Frankie's first language and the first music he was exposed to was the rhythmic sounds of his native land such as Cumbias Rancheras and Bandas. "Spanish music and the language is really my roots," Frankie offers, "but I also listened to the same stuff other kids liked like Run DMC, Kurtis Blow, the Fat Boys and Michael Jackson. When I was 8 I was really into Michael Jackson and breaking, and as I got older I was really into artists like Brian McKnight, Stevie Wonder and K-Ci and Jo Jo. You know, the real honest R&B."

Encouraged by his family, Frankie began to develop more of an interest in singing and by the time he was in high school he'd begun participating in talent shows and performing at school functions, which was his first taste of what it's like to sing in front of an audience. The experience thrilled him and motivated him to pursue music seriously. So seriously that, by the time Frankie was 15, he was signed as a Latin Freestyle artist by a small dance music label in Canada.

Frankie recorded a few singles and his energetic sound garnered a small following and soon bigger labels came knocking. In 1997 Frankie signed with the now defunct Hola Recordings, the brain-child of dance music legend and producer Jellybean Benitez. Unfortunately for Frankie, his album never saw the light of day and in 1999 he left Hola to join the already established Latin pop group Los Kumbia Kings. Sharing lead vocal duties with another singer, Frankie would perform the group's English language songs, wrote many of their more R&B influenced hits, toured, and performed with the popular act for three and half years. Frankie appeared on television, sang at the Billboard Latin Music Awards and traveled the world. "It was an amazing experience, but I knew that in my heart I wanted to do my own material and being in a group made that impossible."

The desire to make it on his own motivated Frankie to leave the Grammy-nominated group and test the waters as a solo artist. Frankie entered the studio in the winter of 2003 and completed What's A Man To Do?, his solo debut, in a month. Soon his single, "Don't Wanna Try," began to create a buzz at radio, retail, and video outlets. For this talented young artist, the affirmation of his efforts was a dream come true, "This is what I've always wanted to do and to have people like it is wonderful."

Asked what he wants fans to hear when they check out What's A Man To Do?, Frankie replies, "The truth behind somebody's life. My songs are all very real and in many ways I worked out a lot of the stress and emotions of my own life through my music. I deal in situations that are close to the heart and I know that things like that are timeless." A voice with a universal message, Frankie will surely reach the hearts and souls of many with What's a Man To Do?, his highly anticipated solo debut album.


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