Monday, October 21, 2013

ISR Hot New Artist: Frank Ocean

Christopher Francis Ocean (born Christopher Edwin Breaux; October 28, 1987), is better known by his stage name Frank Ocean.

Ocean is an American singer-songwriter and rapper who started his career as a ghostwriter for artists such as Brandy, Justin Bieber, and John Legend.

Ocean has in a very short time won two Grammy Awards and creatively staked out original ground where he is not competing with hit-driven commercial R&B acts. His first Album called Channel Orange earned Ocean a total of six Grammy Award nominations and was credited by some music writers for moving the R&B genre in a different, more challenging, artistic, unconventional direction.

Ocean is cultivating a sound that balances adult concerns with a sense of a young man trying to understand his own desires.

His songs draw on electro-funk, pop-soul, jazz-funk, and psychedelic music. Ocean's music has been characterized by music writers as idiosyncratic in style. Ocean generally plays the electronic keyboard, and is backed by a subdued rhythm section in the production. His compositions are often midtempo, feature unconventional sung melodies, and they occasionally have an experimental song structure.

In his songwriting, there are open echoes of self-guided, innovative R&B with influences of Prince, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Maxwell, Erykah Badu and particularly R. Kelly and his way of writing lyrics that hover between speech and song, and that are asymmetrical and syncopated.

The recent 2012 announcement that he was gay or atleast open minded enough sexually to be a bisexual made global headlines, and some have compared its cultural impact to when David Bowie revealed that he was bisexual in 1972.

Only time will tell what affect this has on Ocean's career in music.

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