Why you should be paying attention to Frankie Z.
Promising newcomers in the world of pop are a rare commodity in 2016, but former boybander Frankie Z (full name Frankie Zulferino) is undoubtedly someone to keep an eye on, as he proves with his take on Madonna’s 1989 career defining hit, ‘Like a Prayer’.
Designed to build hype for his upcoming solo project, the cover is a ballsy move. You need guts to take on any Madonna song, let alone the Madonna song, but Frankie pulls it off surprisingly well. The boy-band-ballad esque production feels like a risk, but it’s one that pays off in the context of Frankie’s breathy vocals and deliberated visual choices. The enjoyable thing about an artist like Zulferino is that even when he strays into over-sincerity, the cover is still easy listening thanks to his polished falsetto and clear engagement with the lyrics.
On Madonna, Frankie says that the ‘Living for Love’ star is an influence for his own material. Acknowledging the bold choice to rework a classic, he elaborates, “I wanted to take a different approach to the record because Madonna is all about being original and re-inventing herself, I figured it was only right to do the same.“
Zulferino states that the video touches on the theme of addiction, elaborating that in the visual, “I’m in love with someone, but no matter how much I love her and no matter how much I chase her - I can't save her.”
Z’s a potentially interesting artist, having opened for Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber and Jason Derulo but never hitting the general public consciousness; theoretically, the material he’s working on now will be make or break for the native New Yorker. On his upcoming project, he claims that he’s making the “best material [he’s] ever had.” Speaking to BreatheHeavy, Frankie said, “I don't want to give anything away, but let's just say I'm taking it back old school.”
The industry is, as ever, a barbarous environment and perhaps there’s fear than an artist like Frankie Z could get swallowed in the influx of desperate, hopeful superstars, but his old school sincerity, top model looks and striking vocal style make him one to watch.