Emerging Montreal artist Fränkel blends languages to create his signature sound

The singer-songwriter produces diverse array of styles and genres

Montreal-based singer-songwriter Jacob Fraenkel, whose stage name is Fränkel, is known for always wearing tinted sunglasses on social media.

They keep me in my element [...]. I like to see the world through rose coloured glasses,” he said, touching his pink lenses. 

Fränkel has been drawn to music since a young age. He grew up in Montreal and has also lived in Germany. His heritage is Moroccan and German. He speaks and sings in five languages: English, French, German, Arabic, and Spanish.

When Fränkel started singing at family weddings, he received encouragements that pushed him to share his music. His first released track “Isabelle” got 10,000 streams on Spotify the week of its release. “Isabelle” is a fictional story about a girl that changed his life.

With French and English lyrics, “Isabelle” was recorded in Fränkel’s friend’s house, and released in 2020.

“I didn't think this song was the greatest thing I could’ve made. It was kind of one day to the next. [...] I put it out there, and somehow it had hit I believe 15,000 plays on Spotify,” said Fränkel.

The genre of music he produces varies from R&B, hip-hop, French rap, and Deutschrap. “It’s a really wide array of things. I don't like to put a label on myself,” he said. Even when registering one of his songs on a streaming platform, he struggled to categorize his songs into a specific genre.

Read more: From quarantine hobby to successful business: Seydee Bien-Aimé celebrates People of Colour through painting

“I try to be as diverse as possible with my music. Most of my tracks are both. I love languages so much,” he said.

When he hears a beat, Fränkel is inspired on the spot for what he wants to write about. He writes lyrics that matter to him or fictional stories that come from the heart.

Jake Hyndman-Whittier, owner of FLY AWAY Recording & Media Studio, met Fränkel in 2019. His first impression was that he could hit a wide range of vocals, from high to low notes. That’s how they started creating his signature style with different harmonies. They have since produced ten to fifteen songs. Fränkel’s next goal is to grow his fanbase, from young kids to adults. 

Fränkel is mainly inspired by two artists; French rapper Soolking and Canadian rapper Drake. Soolking’s genre varies from rap, pop, reggaeton, and soul. He raps and sings in French and Arabic. “He is exactly what I want to emanate,” said Fränkel. Drake’s music brought him from Canada to the United States, which Fränkel explained was a large inspiration for him.  

The versatility of his icons pushes him to create beats that listeners can connect to. “It makes them bop their head, it makes them dance. It makes them remember your chorus and your verses every time whether they want to or not,” he said. “My goal is to keep making music that matters to you, telling my story.”