Black Leather Jacket – Early Halloween // Necklace – Eddie Borgo

FRANKIE J GRANDE

Frankie J Grande
Photographer: Tony Kim
Stylist: Keegan Singh
Groomer: Peter Butler @ Tracey Mattingly

(Interview follows photo series)

White Tank Top – Calvin Klein // Jean Vest – Levis // Jeans & Belt – Saint Laurent // Necklace – Eddie Borgo // Vintage Boots – What Goes Around Comes Around

Black Tank Top – Rick Owens // Jeans & Belt – Saint Laurent // Necklace – Eddie Borgo // Vintage Boots – What Goes Around Comes Around

Vintage White Top – What Goes Around Comes Around // Necklace – Eddie Borgo // Jeans & Belt – Saint Laurent

White Tank Top – Calvin Klein // Jeans & Belt – Saint Laurent // Necklace – Eddie Borgo // Vintage Boots – What Goes Around Comes Around // Black Leather Jacket – Early Halloween

Vintage White Top – What Goes Around Comes Around // Jeans & Belt – Saint Laurent // Necklace – Eddie Borgo // Vintage Boots – What Goes Around Comes Around

White Tank Top – Calvin Klein // Jeans & Belt – Saint Laurent // Necklace – Eddie Borgo // Vintage Boots – What Goes Around Comes Around // Black Leather Jacket – Early Halloween

INTERVIEW BY MICHAEL WILLIAMS
STORY BY KATINA GOULAKOS

Frankie J Grande is the definition of an entertainer and by far one of the most impressive subjects we have covered here at Imagista. The host of Style Code Live opened up to us about life, family and of course the entertainment industry.

Imagista: You have so much stuff going on all the time, how do you manage everything you are doing?

Frankie: I don’t really stop working, that is my secret, I keep all the parts of my brain spinning all at the same time.

Imagista: What are you working on right now that you are really excited about?

Frankie: I am simultaneously working as a host on Style Code Live, which is an interactive show online. It is super cool, they are literally inventing new technology for our show. At the same time I am still keeping up with my social media, I need to be snapping and posting Instagram photos and constantly tweeting and keeping in touch with my fans who found a love for me through social media. I also try and post on YouTube which is more rare because of Style Code Live, but I still try to get a really solid one up every couple of months.

Imagista: You seem very hands-on with your social, is that all you?

Frankie: 100% , I do everything. Nothing goes up without my doing it. It’s a big task but its what I created, it’s my baby. I named myself a social media mogul and then I kind of made it come true. I owe it to myself and to everyone who helped me get here to keep up with it.

Imagista: Is that the “fake it till you make it” philosophy or do you visualize the outcome and then act on it?

Frankie: Well, here is the thing, there was a strategy that I employed in the Big Brother house to scare people like “oh I am a social media mogul” but then when I left the house it was already true because all of my numbers had doubled and all of the sudden I had millions of followers. When I walked into the house I had half a million followers and when I walked out it just doubled, I thought to myself “Oh my God, this is crazy”. Realistically, I was just trying to scare people to not vote me out of the house, and I guess it worked!

Imagista: How would you describe yourself to someone who has never heard of you? What do you see yourself as?

Frankie: Broadway star, YouTube personality, television host. I think wrapped up in one word it would be entertainer, for sure. The multifaceted mix of being a fully trained Broadway actor combined with the fact that I could be a complete jackass to a camera, combined with the fact that I can also be incredibly professional and read prompter is kind of the mind boggling part to people. They don’t understand how I can be such a silly goofball on your YouTube channel but then at the same time be able to dance and sing like I do on Broadway and then I completely change and step in front of a camera on the red carpet interviewing Sharon Stone.

Imagista: Where does this motivation and inspiration come from?

Frankie: I was raised by my mom who is a business woman, she was the CEO of three companies. Academia was always something that was stressed upon in my house. It was something my grandfather passed down to my mother which she passed down to me. School was always something that was very important to me and I decided to get a Liberal Arts education, which turned into a triple major, biology, theater and dance. I ended up graduating with two degrees, a BA and a BS which is demonstrative of my left brain, right brain functions explaining why I do so much and why I am unsatisfied if I don’t do a lot.

Imagista: What sign are you?

Frankie: I am an Aquarius, which a lot of people tell me makes sense!

Imagista: You mentioned that your mother was a CEO, I am sure that had a big impact on your upbringing.

Frankie: Yeah, and my dad is a doctor, which is where I get the biology part from.

Imagista: To do both of those jobs, you need to have a work ethic, which clearly rubbed off on you.

Frankie: My mothers sister who was like a second mother to me was a journalist, so I also feel like she had an influence on shaping me as a person.

Imagista: That’s amazing. Now, tell us a little about Style Code Live, how did that start?

Frankie: Basically, I entered the show at kind of the eleventh hour. The executive producers were entertaining the idea of finding another person for the host slot and they had never thought about a man. Then my agent got me the audition and it was complete fireworks. I walked in two weeks before we launched, it was almost as if I was the missing piece they needed for this vision to come to life. It has been over seven months now and I love it. I love that I get to work on the show nightly, it is so crazy to me to have a steady television show live, everyday, it feels like I have a Broadway schedule, which is really awesome.

Imagista: Compared to Broadway, how intense is it?

Frankie: I haven’t been working these hours since Mama Mia really, which is crazy but I must say it is easier than Broadway, much easier.

Imagista: What makes it easier?

Frankie: Well its both harder and easier in different ways. It is easier because it is only thirty minutes, so the time is a lot less. It is harder because it is new material everyday. It is also less demanding because I am not singing and dancing, I am just talking.

Imagista: If you weren’t doing what you are doing right now with your career, what do you think you would be doing?

Frankie: I mean I think there is always a talk show in my future, I have been saying it for years that it’s been coming. It is just a question about when and how, I would love to do kind of Jimmy Fallon the younger generation. I would love to be able to talk to people and combine it with music and theater.

Imagista: Who in the creative world do you look up to? Is there somebody you admire?

Frankie: Jimmy Fallon, definitely.

Imagista: You mentioned him before, what is it that you like about Jimmy Fallon?

Frankie: He is an intelligent comic who is also an artist. I love when people are intelligent and funny and talented. There are so very few people on the planet that possess all three of those qualities and Jimmy Fallon is one of them. Ariana Grande is another one, she is intelligent, funny and talented and there are just a little amount of people, especially on the music side.

Imagista: It seems as though you like people, is that a fair statement to make?

Frankie: I am so happy, I am happy all the time. I love meeting people, I love acting with people, I love interacting with people – it is what keeps me going. Take social media for example, I love talking to millions of people, I could do that all day long. I love it and I think you have to love it to be successful in this industry.

Imagista: Not to get too personal, but if you don’t mind we would want to ask you a question about your relationship with your sister, Ariana Grande. Obviously your sister is a very important person in your life, can you describe to us how you influence each others careers and support each other. Have you always been like that with one another?

Frankie: There is a ten year age gap between the two of us. I was on Broadway for a year when I was in Mama Mia which of course she was over the moon about. That was actually the year she was in Thirteen on Broadway. We would be going to see each other in our shows and we have always had that incredible support system. We have always respected and supported each other in our passions and that is the thing that makes our bond so strong as siblings.

Imagista: What advice would you give to young up and coming entertainers?

Frankie: I would say never give up and be yourself. I feel like there are so many young people that are trying to be what the industry wants them to be. I pity those people because I feel like they are never going to find that “thing” that makes them special. Simply be the best version of yourself that you can be and the right thing will come your way. It is a very difficult industry, it really is and the more you can stay grounded and centered in yourself as a human being, the further you will go and the further you go the least likely you are to give up.

Imagista: What do you do to stay grounded and to have that inner confidence?

Frankie: Kabbalah. It is misconstrued, it is actually very simple. It is basic principles to live by and everyday it makes life easier. I have three tattoos that correlate to Kabbalah one of which says “world peace begins with you”, this simple concept is something that keeps me grounded. It reminds me of where I am from and it keeps my head on my shoulders.