Written by Jaime Lynne
As the music industry continues to evolve, some might say that the art of performing has become a thing of the past. In a world where likes and streams ultimately determine an artists level of success, Frankie Zulferino has been working tirelessly to mesh the two in order to carve out a lane of his own.
Frankie is no stranger to the world of music, however. Having fell in love with entertainment at 11 years old, the rising Pop singer finally feels like his time to shine is rapidly approaching; and for good reason.
On the heels of his latest single “I Feel For You”, which currently sits at #13 on the iTunes charts, Frankie opened up about his musical journey and the experiences that helped mold him into the artist that he is today.
Born and raised in New York to Italian parents, Frankie attributes music and dance as his way of escaping from problems at home. “My parents had a difficult marriage and witnessing that as a kid definitely weighed on me”, he says.”Dance and music really became my outlet when I felt I didn’t know how to express how I was feeling. It’s like my therapy…it literally saved my life.”
Despite his parents marital issues, he spoke proudly about the amount of support that he received from his family growing up. At 18 years old, he joined a boyband called W.O.W, where he toured all over the country and got his first experience as a professional musician. “It taught me so much about how I thought the music industry was, compared to what it is…how much you have to hustle and sacrifice. It’s not just glitz and glamour. It’s so different”, he explained.
It turns out that those lessons were necessary to help Frankie grow both artistically and professionally. After the groups disbandment, he went on to pursue his solo career, auditioning for reality singing competitions, “The X-Factor” and “The NEXT”. After making it through to the next level on both shows, he chose to continue on “The NEXT” where he was mentored by Joe Jonas.
His journey as a solo artist has faced several career highs and lows including having to cancel a 6-month long tour in Europe due to the growing Covid-19 Pandemic. However, the discouragement was very short-lived. “I told myself I have two decisions. I could either cry and say woe is me, or I could figure out the silver-lining in this and I did.”
What initially seemed like the worst possible outcome ended up working out tremendously as the quarantine gave him time to finally conquer social media. “I’ve had more success during quarantine than I’ve had in the past 10 years”, he gleamed.
The power of social media finally worked in his favor after posting a tribute video to one of his biggest musical influences; Janet Jackson. “I’m pretty old school so I don’t believe that talent should be judged by numbers. But we live in a world where literally social media is everything and thats been my biggest hurdle I’ve had to figure out,” he adds. After holding on to the tribute video for an entire month out of the fear of inadequacy, he finally released it, grabbing the attention of Ms. Jackson herself. Not only did she see the tribute, she also reposted the entire performance on her personal Instagram page.
Janet Jackson is just one among many influential artists that inspire Frankie Zulferino. MoTown and 70’s disco play a huge role in his style and sound, as well as big performers such as Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, Prince, Jennifer Lopez, and Madonna. “My goal as an artist is to bring that type of artist and performer back.”
When asked about his inspiration behind the Chaka Khan and Prince influenced single, “I Feel For You”, he talks of wanting to re-introduce the song to the younger generation in a fresh, new way. “I was going through a lot of records and I just felt like it would be so great. I was trying to find something that was a good performance record but still fun and feel good.”
The single has only been out for less than a week and could quickly become Frankie’s first top 10 hit on the iTunes charts.
Frankie’s also managed to gain over 500k followers on TikTok, 63k on Instagram, and a fanbase that continues to grow everyday. “The best thing about it now is that I have a huge platform and its given me a chance to tell my real story and be honest with people. I think that’s one thing I had a big problem with was being vulnerable.”
Despite receiving such positive feedback from fans, he considers himself to be his own worst critic at times. “Everybody knows I’m so critical of myself and my performances. I always think they could be better. And as much as it’s a plus to be a perfectionist, it also comes with a negative side because you’re never good enough.”
Through an unconventional journey, Frankie Zulferino has finally found himself at peace with whatever lies ahead in his career. “I tell people all the time, If I’m proud of myself for one thing, I know I can go to sleep at night knowing I’ve done everything in my power. I work hard everyday to pursue my dreams so I know the rest of my career is in God’s hands.”
Be sure to follow Frankie Zulferino on all social media platforms and be on the look out for his upcoming virtual concert coming in October. He also has an exclusive Facebook Group called the ZMOB where fans can connect, buy merchandise, and hear sneak peaks of music before the rest of the public.
“I Feel For You” is now available on all streaming platforms and the official video is set for release this Tuesday, September 8th.
In the meantime, check out the video for one of his previous singles, “Say Less”.