I strive to inspire independence. Independence is the most powerful asset one could have, next to faith. The more you can do for yourself, the more accomplishments you will generate. There is no better feeling than completing an idea exactly the way you wanted in the time frame of your choice. That’s power because ideas can be limitless when you’re in touch with your creativity and with the skills to produce your ideas, you will literally realize your desires into physical existence. Self empowerment will also eliminate entities that thrive off the ignorance of artists who are unaware of their worth and are taken advantage of.
As a part of our series about pop culture’s rising stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Frankie Midnight.
Too broke to afford a guitar, he made one from scraps of an old wooden door and rubber bands, which barely worked, until he decided to sell candy to his middle school classmates to finance his very first official guitar. This act of motivation, drive, and entrepreneurship marks the foundation of Miami based recording and performing artist, Frankie Midnight. A self taught musician of guitar, bass guitar, piano, drums, and harmonica, Frankie Midnight began to write, compose, produce and engineer his own music at age 16. With music inspirations of Nirvana, Jimi Hendrix, The Delfonics, David Bowie, Ivy, The Beatles and Tupac Shakur to name a few, he would go on to produce his debut studio album in 2018 called, “Love Stories” as well as his latest follow up album, “Look Up!! Songs From Frankie Midnight”, under his publishing company, “Frankie Midnight LLC.”
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
Growing up, my childhood was filled with friends, hot Miami days, and limitless possibility. I come from the last generation of children that experienced playing outside until the verge of exhaustion before technology replaced physical interaction with virtual engagement. Born in 1992, I remember the Playstation 1 when it first came out and the excitement my friends and I had while playing Mortal Kombat Trilogy. There was a limit to the tech we had so when we grew tired of playing video games, we’d rush outside to play street football, kick ball, WWF wrestling, Manhunter, twisted metal on our bikes, movie reenactments, whatever our minds could think of. My neighborhood was filled with music as my neighbors would DJ various tunes that created a dynamic soundtrack for my particular block. My parents were and are still active in music and entertainment with my mother being an aspiring producer / rapper and my father being a professional rapper (in my top 5). Not many kids went to school listening to their parents music however I would rock to a new beat my mom made or analyze lyrics from my father’s latest song to see if he talked about me. My parents were never married but stayed close so I had the pleasure of having my father in my life while living with my mother. My hometown of Carol City, Miami Gardens was very contrast to the uplifting energy my friends and I produced due to the high crime and unconducive activity in the city however we were very ambitious and determined to overcome the obstacles of becoming a product of our environment. All we needed was a specific outlet for our ambitious energy which I found through music.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
As a child, I was always performing as a theatrical stage actor but never musically because I lacked the skills as a musician and genuinely had no interest in being a rock star until one day I was inspired by a blonde hair, ripped jeans, flannel shirt wearing, left handed guitar vocalist who I saw on television. His name was Kurt Cobain of the grunge rock group, “Nirvana” and the moment I saw him playing guitar on television, I knew I wanted to do the same thing. The way he looked while playing his guitar…the way he sang with his melodic vocals that would switch to a disruptive screech to spew raw emotion; he affected me. Yes, music was naturally in my blood, laying dormant because once I started to go down the journey of music discovery, it came easy but I give credit to Kurt Cobain for introducing me to a part of myself that I had no idea existed. Thanks Kurt.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
In life, we all work towards obtaining elevating opportunities and I’ve had my fair share of many opportunities in music, both fulfilling and disappointing; however, I was presented with a huge opportunity to which I wasn’t sure would present itself to me again anytime soon. I was presented with an offer to make $800 performing at a wedding in the Bahamas as well as a resort in Cancun, Mexico with travel and living expenses paid. The gigs were set up by my good friend, singer Yoli Mayor of America’s Got Talent, who was hired as a singer and needed a guitarist. She asked me and of course I jumped at the opportunity but there was one problem… I didn’t have a passport and my opportunity was in jeopardy. I refused to let this slip from me. Of course, when she asked me if I had my passport, I lied and told her I did because I had to secure the gigs and failure wasn’t an option for me. I don’t condone lying but I do condone going after your dreams and realizing your desires. Luckily, I had time on my side and I discovered that a passport didn’t cost much so I hustled up a few side gigs as a backup drummer and used the money I made to purchase a passport from my local passport agency which came just in time before our departure. I did it. I was actually going to the Bahamas and Mexico for the first time and due to my passion as a musician. I eventually told Yoli the truth about my not having a passport and she forgave me but I earned respect and later learned an important lesson that sticks with me to this very day; clear your mind of pessimistic outlooks and welcome optimistic challenges because with strong faith and a little bit of perseverance, the outcome is destined for success.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Because I am a self taught musician with the guitar as my first instrument, I began learning to play cover songs and developed a nice list of songs that I learned to play; however, my guitar strings were untuned the entire time and I developed the wrong chord position to get the correct sound. In other words, I was able to achieve the right sound but in the wrong way. Once my guitar strings were tuned correctly, I wasn’t able to achieve the correct sound using the same chord position and had to relearn the correct finger coordination to play. I was teaching myself the wrong way and had to backtrack. That was the only time I thought about giving up the guitar, but I stuck with it through the frustration and it paid off. In the end, I learned the importance of patience; patience in seeking the correct help in the beginning and patience through correcting my mistakes which eases the process and eliminates discouragement.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
As of now, my current project is “Look Up!! Songs From Frankie Midnight” , my official second studio album with 12 songs ranging from themes of self awareness, sleep deprivation, optimism, doubt, rainy days, religion, self realization, and personal growth. The album is currently on bandcamp and the official music videos for the songs are currently being released on my YouTube channel. I’m really excited about this album because I wanted to make the kind of music that I wanted to listen to and not what I constantly hear on mainstream radio. I was able to tap into my experiences, my issues, my fears, my doubts, and my ultimate desires. I made an album that has helped me through my unsavoury moments in life; therapy for my spirit. It’s so weird because I know that I made the music yet I feel like the songs were already there, waiting to connect with me. I can literally listen to these songs as if they weren’t my own and still be affected just the same as if I were listening to a songwriter I admire; that’s why I know I’ve succeeded with this particular project. I have a song on the album called, “Hypocrite” which acts as an introspection and identification of one of my flaws, hypocrisy. In an attempt to be better, I must identify what my problem is and realize it away. Another song that hits deep is “Don’t Beat Yourself Up”, a half ballad, half uptempo reminder to relinquish guilt and self loathing for a happier lifestyle. The song was inspired by my late friend who took his own life in 2019. If I could have shared some last words with him, I would have told him this particular line, “When you feel like you have regret, try not to let your mind get upset…don’t beat yourself up”. Every song on this album has a meaning with intent to communicate and inspire its listeners; something that I believe is lacking in today’s mainstream lean culture.
We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?
I used to say that entertainment is the sanity of existence and with this in mind, let’s look at today’s mainstream culture in film and television as an example of why it is important to have diversity in the entertainment industry. In my personal opinion, mainstream cinema is heavily lacking in originality and visual appeal with the overuse of reboots and CGI. Major filmmakers of today are sacrificing quality for financial feasibility which have nearly eradicated realistic practical effects for unrealistic computer generated renders. As a watcher and lover of films, it is extremely difficult for me to connect with a story when I’m constantly seeing simulations as the foundation of a film that is supposed to sell realism; I’m disconnected. Sadly, most mainstream films are created this way which makes for a bland mainstream film industry. I personally do not watch television so I can’t tell you how TV shows are today but I would imagine it to be just as bland and politically correct with the popularity of cancel culture. Don’t say or show the wrong thing or you will be canceled even though the subject could be honest and relatable. I feel that television can be extremely subjective with a sometimes ulterior agenda but, then again, I could just be paranoid…
If entertainment is the sanity of existence, we must be careful of what we validate as entertainment because future creators will be at risk of continuing the cycle of unoriginality in order to make it in the mainstream industry for successful careers. The death of fearless creativity and unique production will be empowered by safe and lazy practices which would ironically be our own faults for supporting and empowering content from the mainstream entertainment industry. Furthermore, diversity in the entertainment industry would bring a positive balance that would influence culture and positively empower society. Society is a reflection of culture which is influenced by mainstream entertainment and so as an example, if we want to see a society filled with hate and criminal behavior, let’s continue to influence society with perpetuated stereotypes in film, television, and music. The beauty of this theory is that it works both ways. Just as culture can influence negative behavior on impressionable youths, it can imprint a positive impact. In the end, some people will be people and criminal behavior may not always be influenced by its betrayal in entertainment; however, there’s no need to add fuel to a fire. If someone is on the verge of snapping for the wrong, they may be saved by a positive message related through their entertainment mediums.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
I wish someone told me about the importance of YouTube and content creation because when I professionally started creating and performing music in 2009, YouTube was in its purest form.
It was easier to breakthrough and gain large notoriety without the interference of its now complicated algorithm. I would have definitely made it further in my career if I took advantage of YouTube at that time.
I wish someone would’ve told me about branding. Starting out with my band at the time, we only focused on the music while neglecting our image and style which could have crafted a powerful brand that could have further granted us more opportunities for financial growth.
I wish I knew about the importance of marketing which could have saved me time and energy, giving me clear direction with my music goals. When I started out, I was all over the place in terms of music styles and aim. I had no target and spreaded myself way too thin.
I wish someone would have told me about the importance of time management which has caused me to miss out on many opportunities when I first started. By being late to appointments, I was seen as unreliable which is a big derogatory mark in the professional setting.
Lastly, I wish I knew how to keep a cool head on my shoulders and not allow my emotions to control my energy. When I started out, I was over emotional and a stickler about every little thing. I was a perfectionist in the wrong way and over analyzed everything which only complicated the process. If only I remained calm through the process, I would have produced better outcomes and kept stronger relationships.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
I would highly recommend precise planning with room for adapting, independence for self empowerment and most importantly, faith in self with practiced will power.
When we plan out our projects with precision, we can execute them with ease and clarity. Once our projects are completed, we can move on to the next phase of applying our project to the world through promotion which is open to change. We never really know how we will reach our destination so it’s good to leave that part open because God’s universe will meet us halfway and take what we’ve produced, to the world we are part of. Leave room for adapting how the work will be received so that we can avoid frustration when a detour takes place. “God” or “Life” is the driver, we are the passengers, and strong faith is the fuel that will get us where we want to go. Also, the more you can do for yourself, the more empowered you are. If you are a singer / rapper in need of music but have no connections, resources or money, learn to produce and craft music. We are in an age of awareness and self empowerment. Many resources for independence are practically given to us so there is no excuse for ignorance in any area. This is where will power comes in which is a spiritual muscle that must be exercised through patience and diligence in a particular objective, small or big. Empower yourself and truly master your field which will save you time and money in the long run. The more you see your improvements, the more fuel you are given to persevere because you elevate away from stagnation which causes discouragement and doubt that leads to feeling “burnt out” and ultimately giving up.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I strive to inspire independence. Independence is the most powerful asset one could have, next to faith. The more you can do for yourself, the more accomplishments you will generate. There is no better feeling than completing an idea exactly the way you wanted in the time frame of your choice. That’s power because ideas can be limitless when you’re in touch with your creativity and with the skills to produce your ideas, you will literally realize your desires into physical existence. Self empowerment will also eliminate entities that thrive off the ignorance of artists who are unaware of their worth and are taken advantage of. We do not need anymore stories of artists dying with their possessions undermatched to their value.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
This particular question has many answers because I’ve been blessed to have more than one person help me through my journey but i will use this space to specifically thank my grandmother, Joyce Burroughs, because it is her house where I’ve lived all of my life without the major financial pressures that would cause most aspiring artists to give up for something more secure and lucrative. I have many friends who were aspiring artists but not in the same position I’m in and had to give up music to sustain themselves whereas I’ve been able to grow in my career path. Being an aspiring entrepreneur in anything can be difficult when you don’t have the capitol and resources to make your product successful and so I’ve lived my life with a burning desire to make something successful of myself in the entertainment business with the constant struggle of financial resources for clothing, branding, marketing and promotions; the necessities for a successful business. I’ve had many great experiences in my career path but without anything to show for and yet, my grandmother’s support was always my foundation where I could revive my spirit and comfort my anxiety. I fall short in carrying my weight at times which hurt my pride the most but that feeling fuels my motivation to become successful and give back to my grandmother who has carried the weight for me and many others. I need to give back to her while I still have her around and show her that it was all worth it. She believes in me and I can not let her faith be in vain because I owe it to her to realize my dreams and give her the stress free life she deserves.
Thank you grandma Joyce.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“There is only one way you can command the things you want and that is by assuming the consciousness of the things desired”. — Neville Goddard (excerpt from, “Your Faith is Your Fortune”)
This quote stuck with me because it’s a reminder that my reality is determined by my mental state. If I constantly see myself as being broke and low, I will constantly represent how I see myself which is someone that is broke and low. I cannot focus on what I don’t have because I will see myself as without and empower that image by focus yet if I focus on what I want and see myself having it, I will change the energy around me and attract my desired lifestyle. This is happening to me now and gives me new meaning to the phrase, “assume the position”. Neville’s quote reminds me that if I consciously assume the position of the successful entrepreneur in music and entertainment that was able to give back to my grandmother, my physical state will represent this conscious feeling and sure enough, I will manifest into my life all the necessary elements to achieve this reality through application, persistence, and faith.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
There is a man by the name of Percy Miller or better known as “Master P” who is a Hip-Hop / business mogul and inspiration to the aspiring and poverty stricken communities. He really started from the bottom of the Calio projects in New Orleans and went on to become a successful entrepreneur in the Hip-Hop industry. Although Hip-Hop isn’t my primary style of music, me being an Indie Rocker and all, he came from an era of Hip-Hop that I admire and listen too so I am very familiar with his work. I’m more impressed with his mind and I know I would obtain an abundance of knowledgeable power if given the opportunity to sit and speak with him because I am a student first and a respecter of wisdom. I know that my moment is coming where my financial status will elevate drastically which will change my life and the lives of those around me and I need to be ready when that time comes. I need knowledge on how to maintain my fancances, how to diversify, invest and grow my riches into wealth. I would truly appreciate the opportunity to become a pupil of Master P and soak up all the knowledge he has to offer.
How can our readers follow you online?
You may follow me on Instagram, @frankiemidnight_ to stay up to date with my latest posts and news.
You may also sign up to my mailing list on my website, www.frankiemidnight.com for direct latest news and Behind the Scenes content for my music videos and studio sessions.
This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!
I truly appreciate this opportunity and I want to thank you at Authority Magazine for giving artists like myself a platform to share what’s on our minds. This may help inspire those who are discouraged and looking for some kind of sign to keep going!