Franki Jo Moscato

She is the writer of Tightrope song in Jeff Blankenship’s The Last Rung on the Ladder.

SKSM: Tell us about yourself, who is Franki (Jo) Moscato and what do you do or have you done?

Franki Jo Moscato: I am 22 years old in my senior year as a Business Major at UW Green Bay. I’ve performed solo music (classic covers) in public since I was twelve and have logged over 400 paid performances since. My target affairs are private parties, large outdoor music festivals, and corporate events. I am very patriotic and have performed the Anthem four times for the Green Bay Packers, seven times for the Milwaukee Bucks, twice for the Miss Wisconsin Pageant, and twice for the Whitehouse to honor our President and Vice President. I have opened with 90-min sets for artists including Danny Gokey, Riley Green, and the family Christian sensation CAIN. When I was sixteen, I won the coveted Golden Ticket to Hollywood on the 2019 series of ABC’s American Idol. 

SKSM: Where does the name “Moscato” come from, considering your original name is different?

Franki Jo Moscato: Ever since I can remember, I would introduce myself as “Franki Moscato” in front of adults at pretend circuses and concerts. When I was fourteen, my voice coaches in L.A. and Nashville (Billy Hufsey from the TV series FAME, and renowned artist voice coach Ron Browning) deemed me a “professional” and advised me to NOT study music in college. At that time, my parents allowed me to use “Moscato” as my stage name. My first and second name (Franki Jo) come from my Opa (Frank) and Oma (Josefine) who came to the US on a boat from Austria in 1953. 

SKSM: When did you discover you had a talent for singing?

Franki Jo Moscato: I participated in my first talent show in fourth grade. As the date of the event approached, I was getting anxious. My dad sat down with me and said, “Franki, you don’t have to be the best at something to get noticed. Great character gets noticed, and you have great character.” So, I discovered in fourth grade that I have a character that gets noticed. BTW… this continues to be my own advice and point of focus as I teach voice lessons to my young students. 🙂

SKSM: What details define you the most as an singer?

Franki Jo Moscato: At a young age, my parents encouraged me to perform scores of oldies classics. To this day, audiences are blown away with my numbers by Queen, Bryan Adams, Elton John, Aerosmith, Billy Joel, Johnny Cash, Elvis, et al. My American Idol audition in Hollywood was performing “Bang Bang” by Nancy Sinatra. As well as a music performer, I am an avid public speaker. I bring my personality to my concert audiences and people get the whole package of an honest, caring, young person who has worked very hard to be pitch perfect in my delivery of familiar, famous classic music. 

SKSM: How did you become involved in The Last Rung On The Ladder Dollar Baby film?

Franki Jo Moscato: In 2019, the state of Wisconsin approved my 501(c)(3) non-profit to fight adolescent suicide. My foundation is in a commercial space on Main Street in Oshkosh, WI. Through my foundation work I met Maximilian Blaska, who was instrumental in bringing the film to the finish line. I play a small role in the film and Max asked to use my Tightrope original. 

SKSM: We see you in The Last Rung on the Ladder where Mental illness is central. How did you experience that?

Franki Jo Moscato: I was eleven years old when the media started to notice me. Over the months, I turned up on the evening news and was cited in all of the local newspapers. The growing attention rubbed all of my friends wrong and I was bullied out of seventh grade. I continued to draw attention and was bullied out of my second school when I was a high school freshman. I was in a dark place and started journaling and writing music about my public shaming and embarrassment. I used music as an escape from thinking about my loss of friendships and respect.  

SKSM: Everyone recognizes themselves in Kitty (played by Kayla Kelly) at some point. How could that happen, do you think?

Franki Jo Moscato: The mind can be very fragile. 

SKSM: You worked with Jeff Blankenship on this film, how was that?

Franki Jo Moscato: He was very organized and professional. Along the way he showed us genuine kindness and it was a pleasure working with him.

SKSM: What did you think of the end result of The Last Rung on the Ladder?

Franki Jo Moscato: I think the film turned out great and I’m blessed to have participated in such a worthy project. 

SKSM: In addition to singing, you also act, how do you experience that?

Franki Jo Moscato: I enjoy acting. I am currently waiting for my last feature film’s completed post production process. The film is titled “Through Eyes of Grace.” It is a Christian thriller which I was cast as the title role of Grace.

SKSM: Tightrope, is a great song, what’s the story behind it?

Franki Jo Moscato: I wrote this song and several others when I was in my darkest place. I wrote of hope, faith, and living another day. 

SKSM: Mark Croft has made a great acoustic cover of Tightrope. What do you think about this?

Franki Jo Moscato: I was 1000% blown away by his work! This was a perfect add to the film! I hope to meet Mr. Croft someday. 

SKSM: In 2019 you won a “Golden Ticket”, what is the story behind this?

Franki Jo Moscato: I always said, “No pageants, and no reality TV for me”. That all changed when a scout approached me after hearing me play music at a bar in 2018. In short order, I was in Coeur d’Alene Idaho where the celebrity judges handed me a Gold Ticket to Hollywood.  

SKSM: What do you like to do besides singing?

Franki Jo Moscato: I spend many hours a week in church. Besides that, and when I’m not studying for school, I play tournament volleyball and enjoy working out at a number facilities around my community.  

SKSM: Can you explain what the “Franki Moscato Foundation” is and what the story behind it is?

Franki Jo Moscato: During my teens I was a spokesperson for three (3) mental wellness organizations, and I volunteered at two community hospitals. I felt that my energy would better be invested toward a narrower focus of helping adolescents in Wisconsin who suffer from depression and suicidality. In 2019, the state approved my 501(c)(3) and I opened my headquarters in a commercial space in Oshkosh, WI. I have 30 adult volunteers who do all of the heavy lifting toward raising money and overseeing the activities of the Franki Moscato Foundation

SKSM: Where does the inspiration come from when you write your own songs?

Franki Jo Moscato: I enjoy making music and it’s easy for me to write about myself and my feelings. I try to teach others from my own experiences through my music. 

SKSM: You are only 22 what would you still like to achieve?

Franki Jo Moscato: I would like to meet Pope Francis—maybe sing for him. 

SKSM: Are you a Stephen King fan? If so, which are your favorite works and/-or adaptations?

Franki Jo Moscato: I am a big fan of Stephen King movies and my favorite is The Shawshank Redemption. I love happy endings!

SKSM: What would you do if you hadn’t become a singer?

Franki Jo Moscato: As well as singing, I travel the nation speaking to students and faculty about suicide awareness and prevention. I would likely be doing more of that. Example of speaking to 900 principals and 15 thousand Zoomed teachers of Broward County, FL. public school district: 

SKSM: What are you most proud of what you have achieved so far?

Franki Jo Moscato: There are no measurements or statistics for “Number of lives saved from suicide.” So, my biggest achievements are felt when a parent thanks me for my energy that I invest in my work. 

SKSM: Is there a special moment in your life that you would like to share with us?

Franki Jo Moscato: My life is a string of miracles that keep playing out. Some are much bigger than others but are too complicated to write about here. I am very blessed. 

SKSM: What is in the top 5 on your bucket list? (Everything is possible and nothing is too strange)

Franki Jo Moscato: My top five things would include variant deliveries of praising Him and introducing Him to masses of non-believers. 

SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

Franki Jo Moscato: Elton John is my favorite artist and my family went to see his big show while we were staying in Las Vegas. Sadley, we learned when we arrived that the entire show was sold out. Through divine intervention (and for NO COST), I ended up in the front row and was invited on stage where I touched his piano and he and I made eye contact! 

SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?

Franki Jo Moscato: This advise is on the opening slide of many of my school presentations: Call out bullies; Promote kindness; Reward achievement; Honor veterans; Attend church; Educate drug abuse; Discipline children; Support law enforcement; Invest in America; God, family, GB Packers

SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?

Franki Jo Moscato: My Tightrope single is available on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/7CNOzcaluigsiIE6sILj7h

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