“I was thinking of how I wished at 13 or 14 there was somebody I looked up to who would have said something like that, who would have been transparent in that way,” he said.
“But there’s another side of it that’s just about my own sanity and my ability to feel like I’m living a life where I’m not just successful on paper, but sure that I’m happy when I wake up in the morning, and not with this freakin’ boulder on my chest.”
This bravery extends to Ocean’s elegant, passionate vocals on his brand new first full-length record Channel Orange. My favorite track is “Thinking About You”.
Download Frank Ocean’s new record Channel Orange here.
A New Orleans native, Frank Ocean was in his dorm room when Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. This inspired a move to Los Angeles where he found work writing songs for Justin Bieber and John Legend. A friend talked him into signing a solo contract in 2009. All of Ocean’s solo songs have a more vulnerable, sexy vibe.
“Novacane” and “Swim Good” were his first official singles in 2011. Here’s ”Swim Good” – the music kicks in at 30 seconds in this vid.
Also in 2011 Frank Ocean’s first mixtape Nostalgia, Ultra was put out on his blog. He was a featured vocalist on singles by Beyonce, Jay-Z, Kanye and Tyler, The Creator. Nostaligia, Ultra reached !17 on Billboard’s Hot R& B/Hip-Hop Chart last year as well.
A preview of the new record Channel Orange early this year started rumors that Frank Ocean’s lyrics revealed some bisexuality. On the 4th of July 2012 Frank Ocean released a text file that told a story of a love affair with a man.
Here’s Ocean performing same sex love song “Forrest Gump” live.
On July 10 Ocean’s label Def Jam released the new record digitally (angering retailer Target to drop the CD contract). Within hours of its appearance on iTunes, Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange full-length was number one!
Modern beats with soulful vocals. Here’s the second favorite so far from the new release. “Pink Matter” featuring Oukast’s Andre 3000. It’s orchestral and gorgeous. With experimental textures worthy of the Velvet Underground. Definitely not what you’d expect.
For tour dates, releases (and a unique web experience) check out the official Frank Ocean site.
Stay tuned to Michele Myers Saturdays 3-6pm on KEXP 90.3FM in Seattle – kexp.org. Music historian, documentary producer and DJ – Michele has produced over 200 radio stories on musical subjects for KEXP Documentaries and written scripts, lesson plans and features for Experience Music Project, University of Washington and NPR.