It all starts with the stories for Odd Future vocalist Frank Ocean. Now that the California breakout singer/songwriter has completed his first tour, he has his eyes set on his first major label release. Ocean sat down with BBC News to talk about the impact of his 2011 free Internet album Nostalgia, Ultra and what fans can expect from his first major-label album.
“On this record, on this latest body of work I’ve been doing, I think it succinctly defines me as an artist for where I am right now, and that was the aim, just to make something that represents where you are at that time,” he told BBC News on camera. “It’s about the stories. If I write 14 stories that I love, then the next step is to get the environment of music around it to best envelop the story and all kinds of sonic goodness.”
While little is known about Ocean’s next LP, which is due out on Def Jam this spring, the anticipation has been steadily building. After releasing Nostalgia, Ultra, the then-unknown saw his fanbase grow by leaps and bounds thanks to soul-drenched ballads like “Novacane” and “Swim Good.” During his Fall 2011 tour , however, Frank performed two new songs slated for the still-untitled album: “Super Rich Kids” and the bouncy and bassy “Disillusioned.” Whether they make the final track list remains to be seen.
In just a few months, the OFWGKTA singer shot up from music’s underground and began working with superstars Jay-Z, Kanye West and Beyoncé, contributing to Watch the Throne and B’s 4.
“I guess I’m just inspired to tell stories,” Frank said about his writing process. “You gotta make sure the listener is listening to you, so if you put it into a song, often times, if the song is striking enough, then you can really deliver the story most effectively while keeping the ear of the listener the whole time. I guess it all starts with the stories for me.”
How much are you anticipating Frank Ocean’s next album? Tells us in the comments.