When Frank Ocean’s debut mixtape, Nostalgia, Ultra, dropped in 2011 it was a complete game changer. The tape’s most popular songs, “Swim Good” and “Novacane” were almost instantly dubbed classics. Frank kept the momentum going when he released his debut album, Channel Orange, the following year. Now with two albums under his belt, Frank has become a legendary figure in the music industry. But despite his popularity, Frank has notoriously alluded the spotlight and he doesn’t release music very often. Despite having a relatively small catalog, Frank still has countless devoted fans who are waiting on his next release. Continue reading for 10 things you didn’t know about Frank Ocean.
1. Frank Ocean Wasn’t Always His Legal Name
Frank Ocean was born Christopher Edwin Breaux. For a while, he also worked under the stage name Lonny Breux. In 2010, Ocean started the process to have his name legally changed to Christopher Francis Ocean. During an interview he said, “I changed my name on my birthday last year. It was the most empowering sh*t I did in 2010, for sure. I went on LegalZoom and changed my f*cking name. It just felt cool. None of us are our names. If you don’t like your name then change your name.”
2. His Young Brother Passed Away In A Car Accident
On August 2, news began to circulate that Frank Ocean’s 18-year-old brother, Ryan Breaux, had been killed in a car accident. The story was later confirmed. Frank had a very close relationship with his brother. Over the course of Frank’s career, his fans also showed Ryan lots of love.
3. He’s Written Songs For Other Artists
The world was introduced to Frank Ocean in 2011, but he was actually doing his thing in the industry long before then. Before Frank Ocean embarked on a career as an artist, he was working behind the scenes. He wrote songs for several well-known artists including Beyonce, John Legend, and Justin Bieber.
4. There’s A Chance He’s Done Releasing Albums
If there’s one complaint Frank Ocean fans probably have, it’s that he doesn’t release music as often as other artists. Unfortunately, there’s a chance we may never get another album from Frank. However, this doesn’t mean he’s done releasing music all together. He said, “Because I’m not in a record deal, I don’t have to operate in an album format. I can operate in half-a-song format. I believe that I’m one of the best in the world at what I do, and that’s all I’ve ever wanted to be.”
5. He Wrote Channel Orange In Two Weeks
When Channel Orange was released in 2012, it debuted at the top of the charts and it didn’t take long for the project to receive critical acclaim. Surprisingly though, it didn’t take Frank long to complete the album. In fact, he says that he wrote the entire thing in just two weeks.
6. He Lived In Hotels For Over A Year
As someone who prefers not to be in the spotlight, being famous has taken some serious getting used to on Frank’s part. Once his career started to take off, Frank found himself living in hotels for more than a year. Eventually he got a place in New York where he was able to relax and focus on being creative.
7. He’s Considered Studying Visual Arts
Frank is what most people would consider a true creative genius, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t believe there are things he could do to expand his skill set. At one point in time, Frank was looking into visual arts programs at The New School in New York City.
8. He’s From New Orleans
Frank Ocean was born and raised in New Orleans where he grew up around lots of his family members. His father left the family when he was young, and he was raised by his single mother. Although he hasn’t lived there in years, was heavily influenced by the local culture and NOLA will always have a special place in his heart.
9. He’s Struggled With Writer’s Block
Being creative all the time isn’t an easy thing to do – even for someone like Frank Ocean. He admits that he’s deal with writer’s block; sometimes for long periods of time. Although he tried to write during those times, he would find himself simply unable to come up with anything.
10. He Initially Started Making Music As A Way Out
Frank loves music, but that isn’t why he started making it. He told W Magazine, that music “was a driver to get out of the neighborhood. I remember feeling no attachment to music necessarily, more an attachment to what music could bring if I succeeded, you know, financially. “
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