It only takes a few seconds to fall in love with Francis Karel. Need proof? Check out any of the unassuming singer/songwriter’s countless Omegle reaction videos, in which he reduces unsuspecting strangers to instant tears with just his mesmerizing voice and soulful guitar. Recorded alone at home, Karel’s jaw-dropping, impromptu performances have taken the internet by storm over the past year, earning him more than 1.2 million followers on TikTok and high-profile Instagram fans like Benny Blanco, Meghan Trainor, Zedd, and Bebe Rexha. And while those videos certainly make for a great introduction, they’re just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the prolific 22-year-old’s otherworldly talents.
Born and raised in Jakarta, Karel’s unlikely path began while working backstage at an Indonesian music festival, where he accidentally spilled coffee in front of a top record executive. Despite the awkward introduction, the two hit it off, and the next thing Karel knew, he was saying goodbye to everyone and everything he’d ever known, flying halfway around the world on a terrifying but exhilarating journey toward a new life in America. Now based full-time in LA, Karel’s set to build on his viral success with his debut studio recordings, which hint at everything from Bruno Mars and BTS to Ed Sheeran to Jon Bellion as they showcase both his extraordinary vocal talent and charismatic charm.
So go ahead and press play on Francis Karel. He may be new, but all he needs is an instant to win your heart.