The man, mind, and menace in music: Frank Ocean

Image provided by Theo Wargo.

Frank Ocean’s music has helped many people, like me for example. I started listening to Ocean in 2018 with his song “Ivy” from the album “Blonde” and fell in love with it. Ever since then I’ve been listening to numerous projects of his and discovering what kind of artist Frank Ocean is. I used to just casually listen to him and not think too much about the lyrics, but then during quarantine I had a bunch of time to listen to songs and I started to really listen to the lyrics of Ocean’s songs. His lyrics could be interpreted in many different ways, as shown in plenty of videos deconstructing his albums and songs.

Throughout 2020 I felt isolated from not being able to see other people which kind of put a strain on my mental health. But listening to Frank Ocean’s works was in a sense calming and helped me throughout the quarantine. To this day he continues to help me feel at peace and sometimes understood, as he does to millions of people around the world. A lot of people around the world have been impacted by Frank Ocean’s music, like a student here at Washington. They have been listening to Ocean for 2 and half years and got into him with one of his most known songs “Chanel.” The student says they listen to the artist “when I’m relaxing or just need a break from something, although I have listened to him when I was feeling down.” The student continued saying, “I think that Ocean has inspired a lot of people and that the work he has put out helped a lot of people, especially through the pandemic where he peaked. The fact that he could make a song about his hardships and help other people through theirs shows how much of an impact he has on his fans. I would consider him a role model.” Many today find Ocean to be admirable, whether it’s from his music, his style, or just his vibe in general.

Two of my most favorite albums ever are “Channel Orange” and “Blonde”, which are both made by Frank Ocean. “Channel Orange” features a mellow sort of vibe at the beginning of the album with songs like “Thinking Bout You”, “Sierra Leone”, and “Sweet Life.” Then you get songs with a more upbeat tempo like “Lost”, “Monks”, and — one of my favorites off the album — “Pyramids.” The song “Pyramids” is one of the most unique and interesting songs I have ever heard, with an atypical beat in the first half of the song, a transition into a new beat in the second half of the song, and unforgettable instrumentals adding on the complexity and beauty of the song itself. The way Ocean smoothly transitions into a new beat in the song is something I’ll never forget. “Blonde” is an album with many purposes, whether it acts as something to cry to, something that helps you feel understood, or just something to listen to while working or relaxing. The songs in the album illustrate love, heartbreak and dealing with it, creating an open and honest atmosphere when listening to the album. The album consists of heavy songs such as “Solo”, “White Ferrari”, and “Close To You.” But it also consists of some more lighthearted songs like “Pink + White”, “Pretty Sweet”, and “Skyline To.” Like the instrumental transition in “Pyramids”, Ocean creates another smoothly done transition in “Nights” that is built up and dropped into a slower beat that creates a perfect second half of the song. One of my all-time favorite Frank Ocean songs is “Seigfried”, the 15th track in this album. The instrumentals are simple, and create a calm and peaceful environment. This also allows listeners to really focus on the lyrics describing Ocean’s life after a break-up. Along with these albums, the artist has also released singles that create different stories or perspectives such as “Provider”, “Lens’’, and “Biking.”

Frank Ocean tends to keep his projects secret, keeping the world guessing when he might release next if he ever does. In the meantime the artist has launched Homer, a luxury brand with really expensive jewelry. Although few people can afford to buy the items, it gives us an update on what Ocean has been working on and his changes in his style. But for now, all fans can do is stream his songs and just wait for his upcoming projects. Stream “Seigfried!”

About the author

Aleesha Sachanandani is a sophomore at Washington High School. He was born and raised in Fremont, California. This is his first year with the Hatchet and he is interested in discussing current events that have big impacts on people and viewing different opinions on different topics. He enjoys doing sports or building random things in his free time. He doesn’t know what he would like to do in the future yet but knows he will not pursue a major or job that includes math.

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