Griffith Frank Offers Music with a Message

Updated on August 20, 2019
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FlourishAnyway is a psychologist and music enthusiast who enjoys promoting talented artists and learning about the people behind the music.

Award-winning singer-songwriter Griffith Frank describes the personal tragedy that inspired his 2019 single, "Reach Out." With its meaningful lyrics and emotionally gripping vocals, the song will touch listeners who have lost a loved one.
Award-winning singer-songwriter Griffith Frank describes the personal tragedy that inspired his 2019 single, "Reach Out." With its meaningful lyrics and emotionally gripping vocals, the song will touch listeners who have lost a loved one. | Source

Griffith Frank Delivers a Plaintive Call to Action in the Aftermath of Loss

If you've ever lingered in the shadow of what-ifs following the loss of a loved one, then the plaintive lyrics and earnest vulnerability of Griffith Frank's new single, "Reach Out," will speak directly to you, as it did to me. In the aftermath of a personal tragedy, this award-winning singer and multiplatinum songwriter relies upon what he knows best to impart a message of healing: meaningful lyrics and emotionally compelling vocals. Ultimately, the tune is also one of hope.

Griffith grew up in a musical family, the son of David Frank, a songwriter, pianist, and music producer who has worked with high profile artists such as Christina Aguilera, Chaka Khan, Billy Idol, and Phil Collins. But make no mistake: Griffith Frank is a talent in his own right. His mesmerizing voice reminds me favorably of George Michael, Josh Groban, and Sam Smith.

In 2010, Griffith was a featured soloist on the soundtrack of the Golden Globe-nominated motion picture Nine, receiving special praise from People magazine for his rendition of "Unusual Way." Additionally, Griffith has appeared at major venues across the globe, including as a featured artist at the renown Jakarta Java Jazz Festival. Between his vocal finesse and uncanny ability to lyrically capture raw emotions, Griffith Frank is a rising star.

Griffith co-wrote the poignant song, "Reach Out," with two friends, Esteban Calderón and Caitlin Timmins. He tapped into his own experience of losing a childhood friend to an overdose. Some people in his friend's inner circle believe both depression and addiction were involved. Griffith goes back and forth about the use of such terms. Due to privacy concerns for the friend's family, we are referring to Griffith's friend as "Tom."

Although Griffith lost his friend a decade ago, the singer relates the experience as "a pain that never goes away." Griffith describes "Reach Out" as a call to action for anyone facing a personal crisis too big to manage alone. "The point of the song is to appeal to people who are hurting to reach out to others," he explained. His message acquires additional urgency when you consider that one in seven Americans will face substance addiction at some point in their lifetimes.1 Similarly, nearly half of all Americans will struggle with mental illness2. Given the stigma that still exists, it isn't always easy to reach out for help. Griffith wants to help break down the barriers that keep people from talking to others when they are hurting.

Having lost a childhood friend to depression and addiction, Griffith Frank describes his song "Reach Out" as a call to action for anyone facing a personal crisis too big to face alone. Esteban Calderón and Caitlin Timmins co-wrote the song with him.
Having lost a childhood friend to depression and addiction, Griffith Frank describes his song "Reach Out" as a call to action for anyone facing a personal crisis too big to face alone. Esteban Calderón and Caitlin Timmins co-wrote the song with him. | Source

The Personal Tragedy That Inspired the 2019 Single, "Reach Out"

In the decade since his friend died, Griffith has journeyed through the depths of grief to a place of compassion and healing. Through "Reach Out," he shares his feelings of loss and offers consolation to others that they are not alone. "Going over the emotions is cathartic," he discloses.

Griffith first met his friend, Tom, at age three. He and Tom were neighbors and grew up together, enjoying the same musical tastes. Tom, he recalls, always seemed liked the "cool" kid to him. He was an idea person, had a passion for horror films, and sought a career in film making. Tom also lifted up loved ones in a way that left them feeling valued and supported. However, his friend was reluctant to seek key emotional support from others.

Unfortunately, a façade of drinking and partying camouflaged Tom's personal demons, and Tom went to great lengths to hide his personal demons. "There were brief moments when I could tell he was deeply struggling, but he'd dismiss it, laugh it off. Instead of looking further, I naïvely believed that he was alright," Griffith said.

In retrospect, the singer surmises that his long-time friend attempted to handle his battles with addiction and mental health primarily on his own. He kept his drug withdrawal symptoms private and allayed friends' concerns via dismissive responses that he simply wasn't feeling well. Griffith wishes he could have done more to help.

As Griffith's song references, Tom died alone in his apartment one New Year's Eve. Friends hadn't heard from him, and Tom's stepfather discovered the young man unresponsive.

"Don't be afraid to reach out to others," said singer-songwriter Griffith Frank.  "You don't know who you might help."
"Don't be afraid to reach out to others," said singer-songwriter Griffith Frank. "You don't know who you might help." | Source

You might assume you're alone in struggling with a problem, but you don't know who might also be affected. If you are hurting, it's important to reach out for help. Know that the feelings are okay, that it's acceptable to discuss hurting. Hurting is part of being human.

— Griffith Frank, singer-songwriter

Survivorship: Making Sense of Personal Loss

As is customary with tragic losses, Tom's unexpected passing launched a period of grief for his friends and loved ones, punctuated by confusion and regret. Survivors ruminate; that's what they do in their efforts to make sense of senseless tragedies like Tom's death. "Reach Out" accordingly alludes to missing the signs and second-guessing oneself:

After all this time
I keep replaying those days
You said that you were fine
Just fine.

Griffith, however, is a survivor with a life-affirming message. He offers experience-based encouragement to listeners who are grappling with personal issues and those in a position to potentially lend support. While he understands that a person in crisis ultimately owns the decision of whether to accept help, the singer hopes to inspire conversation and connection among us all.

"You might assume you're alone in struggling with a problem, but you don't know who might also be affected. If you are hurting, it's important to reach out for help," he said. "Know that the feelings are okay, that it's acceptable to discuss hurting. Hurting is part of being human." Additionally, he notes that if you recognize that a friend or loved one could be having emotional difficulty, then "don't assume the help you can provide isn't appreciated or wanted. Talk to them, do what you can, because it may mean the difference in stopping something that is irreversible."

Listeners who are impressed by how expertly Griffith translates his emotional loss into music will also be interested in his 2018 single, "You Will Be Missed." The bittersweet song describes the pain of moving on after loss. Sadly, Griffith also experienced the death of his mother in 2013.

Griffith Frank: The Artist Behind the Music

Griffith describes his style as "pop music with a cinematic twist" and explains that he enjoys "creating musical and lyrical texture, taking people lyrically on a journey so that they lose themselves." Griffith has been around music his entire life, but he first found his voice at age 10. He was practicing Bing Crosby's "Buddy Can You Spare a Dime?" in the shower for a school play. As he experimented vocally with bravado, all of a sudden something clicked. Impressed, his mother asked, "Griffith, did you just teach yourself how to sing?" Griffith is also a gifted pianist who added songwriting to his repertoire while studying at UCLA.

Griffith's dream duet is with Sting or Annie Lennox, but he reports having also drawn musical inspiration from Barbra Streisand and Trent Reznor (from Nine Inch Nails). When not involved with music, Griffith enjoys experimenting with cooking, yoga, and spending time in the Los Angeles mountains where he can experience the vastness of nature.

Asked when he would know when he has "made it" as an artist, Griffith replied that in a large sense, he feels like he has already done so because he gets to professionally sing, explore and express human emotion, and convey messages to listeners.

Fans can follow this promising young star on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/GriffithFrankMusic/, Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/griffithfrankmusic/, or Twitter at https://twitter.com/griffithfrank.

Sources

1Hafner, J. (2016, November 17). Surgeon general: 1 in 7 in USA will face substance addiction. Retrieved from https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2016/11/17/surgeon-general-1-7-us-face-substance-addiction/93993474/.

2 Kessler, R. C., Berglund, P., Demler, O., Jin, R., Merikangas, K. R., & Walters, E. E. (2005). Lifetime Prevalence and Age-of-Onset Distributions of DSM-IV Disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Archives of General Psychiatry, 62(6), 593. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.62.6.593

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

    © 2019 FlourishAnyway

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      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        12 days ago from USA

        Tamara - I'm sure he appreciates your kind comments as much as I do. Take care of yourself and thank you for stopping by.

      • Rhyme Vine Poetry profile image

        Tamara Yancosky 

        13 days ago from Uninhabited Regions

        Until now, I had not heard of him. You did a wonderful write-up and tribute to this lovely soul who speaks of the pain of losing someone. ♥️

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        2 months ago from USA

        Devika - I'm glad you enjoyed Griffith Frank's music. Thanks for reading and listening.

      • DDE profile image

        Devika Primić 

        2 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

        it's new to me and glad i had the chance to read about someone i had no idea of.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        2 months ago from USA

        Cynthia - Thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you enjoyed Griffith's music and appreciated his story.

      • techygran profile image

        Cynthia 

        2 months ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

        Hi Flourish--

        I enjoyed reading this article about an obvious empath who has taken his gift to drawing out the pain of loss in others into music. Very touching songs, and what a sweet, sweet voice.

        Thanks for telling us about Griffith Frank!

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        2 months ago from USA

        Bobbie Neill - I appreciate your kind kudos and am glad you connected emotionally with his song.

      • profile image

        Bobbie Neill 

        2 months ago

        I had never heard about him nor his work but I’d like to thank you Flourish for the introduction to this young man and his heartfelt message of love and loss. It was especially meaningful to learn of the reasons why Griffith was able to convey the depth of feeling that he did so beautifully in his song. You did a great job connecting your audience to the artist and his music.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        2 months ago from USA

        Linda - I know he will appreciate your compliments, as do I. Thank you.

      • Carb Diva profile image

        Linda Lum 

        2 months ago from Washington State, USA

        Thank you for introducing us to this young man. What an amazing voice and heartfelt message.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        2 months ago from USA

        Phil R Neill - Thank you for commenting. I'm glad you were touched by the music and story behind Griffith's song.

      • Phil R Neill profile image

        Phil R Neill 

        2 months ago from Chester, Virginia, USA

        Two thumbs up!

        A very moving article and song. Great write-up Flourish.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        2 months ago from USA

        Linda - I'm happy to introduce you to this new artist. I'm glad you enjoyed his music and found his story compelling.

      • AliciaC profile image

        Linda Crampton 

        2 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

        I have never heard of this man, but his story is moving and important. Thank you for sharing the information and the music, Flourish.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        2 months ago from USA

        Heidi - I'm glad you enjoyed his music. I think it will touch others as well.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        2 months ago from USA

        Liz - Thanks for your kind words.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        2 months ago from USA

        Pamela - Thank you for the kind kudos. I know the song will mean a lot to people who have suffered a loss.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        2 months ago from USA

        Bill - Glad you enjoyed Griffith's music.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        2 months ago from USA

        Lorelei - I appreciate your kind words. I'm glad you enjoyed both the article and the songs.

      • heidithorne profile image

        Heidi Thorne 

        2 months ago from Chicago Area

        I have never heard of him! I hope his music will touch a lot of people who need this message. Thanks for sharing!

      • Eurofile profile image

        Liz Westwood 

        2 months ago from UK

        This is a detailed and well-researched article. You have done a thorough investigation into the sad background

        to the song.

      • Pamela99 profile image

        Pamela Oglesby 

        2 months ago from Sunny Florida

        "Reach Out" is a song that touches the heart. I think when you lose someone you love even if they didn't die due to addiction, etc. you will grieve and wish you could just say one more thing or maybe add a question. I like Frank's voice and like his music.

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        2 months ago from Olympia, WA

        I'm totally out of touch with modern music. Never heard of this guy, but thanks for sharing him. I like it!

      • Lady Lorelei profile image

        Lorelei Cohen 

        2 months ago from Canada

        Our experiences most certainly do inspire or at the very least influence our creative endeavours. There is sadness but also resolution and healing in his songs. Thank you for sharing the reasons behind the words.

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