Frumkeit and Femininity: My Interview with Franciska

Franciska is a successful singer. Through beautiful melodies, inspiring videos, and profound lyrics, her words touch and inspire listeners around the world. She is also a Torah-observant Jew, who combines her love for music with a love for tradition: no easy feat in the fast paced modern world. She tells us, “I was born in the States but grew up in Moscow in a Rabbi’s home. I moved to the States after studying at the Michalala seminar, and I graduated from Touro College in NY. I lived in Atlanta, Baltimore and now in Bala Cynwyd, or Lower Merion, near Philadelphia”. When asked about her musical background, she replies, “I started writing music when I was quite young, so my first album (which was released in 2012) was full of songs that I had composed as a child. To date, I have released 5 albums professionally and I’m already working on album 6. Additionally, I have 11 music videos and there are more coming out”.

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Frum Jews follow the laws of “kol isha”, which restricts men from listening to women singing, and, as such, means that observant singers such as Franciska can only perform in front of women. I asked her if this presented a huge challenge, and she told me, “Since the market isn’t that huge, I guess making it big isn’t the most unrealistic dream….however the ‘big’…isn’t actually that big, if you know what I mean”. On the other hand, she reflected that being a frum, female singer, was also inspiring, saying “The camaraderie between my so called competition is amazing. we are all in the ‘kol isha’ space together and we’re helping each other out. I love that I can sing about such spiritual and beautiful things; my music is my form of avodas Hashem and that’s one of the strongest parts of my Yiddishkeit”.

Franciska admits that her faith can, sometimes, prevent a challenge.”I try to get as much exposure I can, but at the same time I can’t perform at most events or venues. Even female catered events have male guests and the platform for me to perform live is very limited. Maybe others have different experiences, but this is hard for me”. She decides not to let her dedication to Halacha hold her back, though, stating that “My faith compliments everything I can do and my passion is bringing new music to ancient texts…. so without my faith and the inspiration I get from it, my music wouldn’t be the same”.

When I asked Franciska if she had any dreams, she told me that she longs to inspire and help other talented women. “I would really like to start a label and offer the environment and resources for all the talented women out there. Of course, this is a dream right now, because the amount of money needed for this is enormous and the market is not big enough to sustain such investment”. But Franciska’s dedication and willingness to work hard shines through, and leaves me wondering for how long her dream will remain just a dream. Her ability to inspire and influence seemingly knows no bounds, and she loves helping and encouraging others, telling me that when things are difficult, “A fan who reaches out randomly to tell me how I enhanced her prayer or her Jewish Holiday keeps me going. That’s all I need”.

When working in an area as volatile and fast-paced as the Jewish music business, perseverance and enthusiasm are both very important, as Franciska demonstrates when telling me about her plans for the rest of the year. “I’ll be creating music videos, and a new album! I’m going to keep going and I have a new show- in fact, I am booking up my tour dates!”. I walk away feeling inspired and amazed by what I’ve heard. In all my experience with the music world, I seldom find someone as unique and genuine as Franciska, and I genuinely believe that she is going to be the next big thing; one of the strong, inspirational Jewish women who are celebrated in her latest video:

Franciska can be contacted using the information below:
franciskakay@gmail.com
http://www.franciskamusic.com
1(845)-642-7636
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3 thoughts on “Frumkeit and Femininity: My Interview with Franciska

  1. Thank you for bringing her more attention. I’d never heard of her before, but I already love how positive her music is and I can’t wait to share it with my daughter! šŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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