LOS ANGELES — After crooning R&B tunes like "Obsession (No Es Amor)" and "How to Deal" to the ladies, Frankie J is taking it back to the old school with his third single, a rock ballad.
The singer pays homage to the early-90s band Extreme by releasing a remake of their 1991 hit "More Than Words," an Everly Brothers-style soft-rock ballad with an acoustic strum.
"I basically reinvented it in my own way," Frankie explained. "I rewrote it in Spanish, and nobody has ever done that song in Spanish, so I'm very excited."
Those not fluent in Español needn't worry. Frankie plans to release the song in English as well, and both versions are expected to hit radio airwaves in August. No word on when he'll shoot a video, but the 24-year-old singer will incorporate a simple concept to do it justice.
"We're trying to capture the same exact vibe of the original video," Frankie said, "and basically reinvent it with me and my guitar players. I think it's gonna be interesting."
The single is only a taste of what's to come. Following the lead of Marc Anthony and Christina Aguilera, the Tijuana, Mexico-born singer will return to his Latin roots on his next album, slated for a fall release. As he gets ready to travel to Europe, Australia and Japan to promote his most recent album, The One, Frankie has already begun writing songs for his Spanish album.
Frankie is talking about collaborating with bands like Latin pop duo Sin Bandera, but he has his eye on one particular hip-gyrating hottie.
"We're working to hopefully get a duet with Shakira," Frankie said. "I'm praying for that. I've always admired her work. She's a beautiful person and an incredible talent. So I hope to at least be a part of something with her. Even though we're labelmates, I haven't gotten to meet her. I was at the Virgin Megastore in New York to buy my own CD, and it turned out she was there doing an in-store. I wasn't able to get in because she was surrounded by all these people. I've never had the privilege of meeting her yet, but if you're out there, Shakira, please holla at your boy!"
In the meantime, Frankie recently stepped off his North American tour with Baby Bash and Natalie. And he just wrapped up his first movie cameo in the MTV film tentatively titled "Rumble," starring Ciara.
"The scene I was involved in was basically me being myself, being onstage performing the song 'Obsession (No Es Amor),' " Frankie said. "It gave me more of a sense of what it's like to be on set. It was interesting for me to see, and I had fun with it. So movies are definitely something I want to do."
"I'm still grinding, still hustling, still working out there, and still trying to create this buzz and keep the buzz going."