We had the good fortune of connecting with Donny Frauenhofer and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Donny, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
My path towards an artistic career is a similar story to so many others – nothing else ever truly seemed like an option. In early adulthood while everyone was trying to figure out who they were and their path, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I had been playing music since childhood, but I remember the feeling well when it hit me – it almost seemed like a divine calling. I am here to bring people together with the power of music. That is the purpose of my craft and creativity: it’s not just a form of expression of my own experience, but draws from this universal well of human experience and the vastness of music to bring people together. I’ve always had a knack for it in other areas of my life, but it’s been most effective and rewarding in my career as a musician and artist.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
A phrase I keep returning to over the years – as cliche as it sounds – is “the power of positivity”. I’ve had plenty of personal and career setbacks, like all artists have. I wear each one with a badge of honor – it makes you so much more appreciative of where you came from, and it makes me work that much harder after each setback. I think people can feel this when they hear my music – there’s this creative expression happening but underneath it all there’s a message of “if I can do this, you can do this, and we’re all capable of so much more than we actually think we are.” One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that inside each of us, we all have this ocean of untapped potential we can dive into if we let go of any fear of failure or what others might think.

Something all musicians have to deal with in the era we’re in is navigating how to make a living when the traditional model of getting a record deal and selling records isn’t as viable or universal as it used to be. But if we look at the positive side, there’s so many more avenues to reach people directly without having to have that big label representing you. It gives you the opportunity to approach your art and your communication with fans on a much more genuine and personal level that we’ve never seen before. What sets me apart is I love to share methods of how I create and give people an inside look (especially my patreon subscribers) into that. I love inspiring people, and I largely do it for that reason besides building my own brand. It’s not just about consuming my art, but I want to show people that they are capable of achieving their dreams as well. If it makes you happy and it’s worth working for – I say “go for it!”

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
The entire neighborhood of Wynwood is one of my favorite spots. If we’re talking food, I’m a sucker for Korean BBQ and I’m immediately taking them to Soju Miami, who has some of the best Korean BBQ in the city. I love walking around and looking at all the street art and graffiti as well. I get so blown away by the work and talent that goes into creating that kind of stuff – I just walk around and absorb it all and feel inspired.

I love my classic music bars too, so we’d be stopping in at Las Rosas. I love spots like there where on any given night you can hear any kind of music, from DJs to funk to rock to whatever.

I also am a huge fan of Cuban music as well, so Little Havana would also be a spot we’d have to stop. I love to dance and Ball & Chain always has some killin music, while Cafe La Trova is a more traditional bar vibe that I love as well.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’m so lucky to have had a large support system over the years, starting with my mother Jill and my father Chris. Besides paying for piano lessons at an early age and encouraging that creative side, they were people that truly wanted myself and my siblings to try anything and everything we wanted and were supportive of whatever we did. Choosing a career in music or any art form is certainly a risk, but they were always incredibly supportive of that.

I’m also lucky to have long term friends that are loving friends first, but also collaborators in music. Jon Fohl (drummer) and Brian Calisto (guitarist) are people I don’t just consider friends but brothers. We met as teenagers and have been playing, writing, and performing for 14 years. Having long term relationships that blossom and continue to grow in the arts is so rare, and they’ve always inspired me, not just to be the best musician I can be, but the best person as well.

The same can be said for Max Frankel who I’ve been working with for 12 years. We’ve been able to remain incredibly close despite not living in the same city for the majority of that time. It truly is such a rare relationship I feel lucky to have. Besides being a friend and collaborator, I’d consider him a mentor. He’s someone I’ve been able to call at any time and talk about anything, creative or not. When you’re an artist, you’re constantly dealing with the vulnerability of putting yourself out there, and the path to success is riddled with rejection. Having this level of support and inspiration from close friends makes it almost easy to navigate the ebbs and flows of being an artist.

Website: https://linktr.ee/DonnyFrauenhofer

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/donnyfraueny/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/deathbycontent

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DonnyFrauenhofer

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/DonnyFrauenhofer

Other: Spotify follow link: https://open.spotify.com/artist/5uW1KSLOKYBqGxa931tl5h?si=MXWM8_gvS86gSqflcoYdfQ

Image Credits
Zak Beutel, John Raczynski

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutMiami is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.