Frank Ocean is a new R&B artist recently signed to Def Jam records and he nearly snuck right by me! After hearing a few of his tracks I was hooked. I knew from the first single I heard ,Novacane, that he would be an artist that I could vibe too. His songs are ones that put you in a zone all of your own, where you can easily tune everything else out.

Ocean isn’t the typical R&B artist. His sound infuses different elements so that he’s able to attract multiple audiences and music lovers. Some of his music will have the traditional slow and smooth feeling of an R& B song, while other songs are more upbeat and lend more to a rock-soul type of feel. Either way his sound is anything but ordinary.

Considering his background as part of another music group, OFWGKTA, where they infused various sounds to create a genre of music focused on skater and hip-hop influences, it’s no wonder Ocean is able to play with various elements to create a sound unique of his own. Although his sound is predominantly  R&B he seems to have his own formula and sound.

Ocean’s mix tape Nostalgia, Ultra released in February of this year via his own personal tumblr account, creates a new take on a classic genre of music. While some R&B artists put out mix tapes  to supplement their careers, Ocean’s brought him the ticket he needed into the industry.

I tend to enjoy artists more when their music isn’t what you might typically expect. I enjoy when an artist is able to think outside the box and bring something new to the genre. It changes the way I perceive the genre and it gives me a whole new way to look at things.

Ocean’s lyrics are good at giving the listener a vivid picture and mentally taking them on a journey they weren’t expecting. I can’t remember the last time I heard an artist whose lyrics were deeper than they seemed on the surface. Ocean’s lyrics deliver the unexpected on songs like American Wedding which samples from California Hotel by the Eagles.

Although his music is said to be R&B it could easily be put into a genre of its own. It doesn’t fit the stereotypical mold of what one might consider R&B. His songs seem to subtly draw you in without realizing it, then before you know it,  the song is over and your mind is somewhere else in thought. His lyrics are good at creating a vivid picture to enhance the unique sounds of his tracks. He puts a whole new twist on the typical love stories expected to be told by R&B. He makes the heart breaks and first crushes seem more real and relateable through smaller details. Ocean brings a whole new breed of creativity to the table, and it’s one that shouldn’t be overlooked.


About Alex McClain

Writing is a gift of mine that I enjoy sharing with others. What I love more than writing is the actual story, finding others who share the same passion as I do and discoverin g a certain creative energy in others. This is what keeps me inspired. Finding these people and telling their stories. I'm a senior at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, fl. I'm a communications major with a concentration in print journalism. If you're interested in contacting me for any freelance work or you're interested in me writing about you for my blog email me at

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