If you don’t know who Frank Ocean is, educate yourself. This lush voice was born in California and grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana. The sweet sounds of local jazz inspired him to embrace the call to sing and make music. When Hurricane Katrina hurled through his hometown recording facility in 2005, Ocean made the big move to Los Angeles. He kickstarted his career as a ghostwriter for artists like John Legend, Brandy, Beyoncé and even Justin Bieber (I know, right).
After getting tired of working behind the scenes, Ocean joined Odd Future and became good mates with Tyler, The Creator who encouraged him to dream big. In 2009, Ocean signed a contract with Def Jam Recordings as a solo artist. The release of his first mixtape, Nostalgia, Ultra, in 2011 led to working with rappers Jay-Z and Kayne West. In 2012, we were gifted with the freshest album yet, Channel Orange.
Ocean’s avant-garde story-telling, infused with R&B, soul and hip hop has rolled in with the release of a snippet of his interesting new song “Memrise” on his Tumblr 5 days ago. Rumours say this could be a hint of an upcoming album, heck yes.
“Memrise” reflects Ocean’s experimental talent. It’s wavy and a little different to his other sounds. The snippet reveals a young man exploring his own desires. This atmospheric track is raw and lo-fi, with the lyrics being published on his Tumblr page.
“I memorised the wayward expressions
Never look down
Never let you see me down
I memorised your body exposed”
Ocean shows off his falsetto, whilst harmonising with his own voice. His high notes are backed by a steady beat, reminiscent of thuds from a beating heart. The dope piano chords add a melancholic layer to his textured vocals, making a slow and dreamy track.
Hometown: California, United States.
Latest album: Channel Orange, debut album (released 10 July, 2012).
Sounds like: Kayne West, Drake & Childish Gambino.
Say what? Frank Ocean’s real name is Christopher Edwin Breaux. Ocean has been said to have grabbed his stage name from the famous original 1960‘s heist movie, Ocean’s 11.