Frank Ocean – born Christopher Edwin Breaux and raised in New Orleans – is an ultra modern R&B star. He first came to attention as a member of Los Angeles rap crew Odd Future but soon proved he was much more than a background dude who dropped some sweet vocal hooks every now and then. His debut mixtape, 2011’s ‘Nostalgia Ultra’ proved that solo glory lay ahead – the mixtape featured total belters ‘Swim Good’ and ‘Novacane’, as well as ‘American Wedding’, which got him in trouble for sampling The Eagles’ ‘Hotel California’ without permission. Soon enough he was collaborating with Kanye West and Jay Z on their ‘Watch The Throne’ album, co-writing and featuring on ‘No Church In The Wild’ and ‘Made In America’.
Now a fully fledged star, in 2012 he put out his major label debut ‘Channel Orange’, which was released in April to universal acclaim. A handful of shows followed – at California’s Coachella Festival and at London’s O2 Academy Brixton too, but then came the long wait for its follow-up. In 2013 Ocean stated that he was working on his second major label album, but he was far from forthcoming with actual music. In 2014 he said he was almost finished and then in 2015 said the album would be out in July. It wasn’t. It was rumoured again that it would be released in July 2016. It wasn’t.
But then, in August 2016, Ocean streamed a visual album called ‘Endless’, followed two days later by another album, ‘Blonde’. Pop-up shops in London, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles sold copies of an accompanying glossy magazine, Boys Don’t Cry.
In 2017 Frank Ocean will make his live return with a headline slot at London’s Lovebox festival as well as playing Barcelona’s Primavera Sound event.