Frank Ocean releases singles "Dear April" and "Cayendo", previously exclusive on vinyl, on streaming services earlier today, April 3.
The exclusive double A-side vinyl began shipping to fans last March 28.
The American singer-songwriter first previewed these singles as remixes at his PrEP+ club night launch last October 17, 2019, in New York City. Two days later, Frank Ocean released another single, "DHL", on blonded RADIO, his radio show on Beats 1. On the episode, he also posted 7" of the two new singles, which then were available only as physical copies on the A-side, with each vinyl's B sides featuring remixes of his songs by Justice (for Dear April) and Sango (for Cayendo).
Ocean would later offer both songs as a double A-side 7" vinyl for pre-order and shared the remixes online. Its vinyl-only format made listeners leak the songs into online streaming sites such as YouTube, Twitter, and Soundcloud.
"Cayendo" is Frank Ocean's English-Spanish stripped-back performance where the track is made up of only his vocals and Spanish guitars, which at some points, sounded similar to an electric guitar. In Spanish, "cayendo" means "falling" or "falling down", and is perfect for the song's theme of unrequited love.
"Dear April" is an equally introspective love ballad backed by an organ instrumental. Compared to the track on the other A-side, it does not feature Ocean's powerful vocals as much as it does with the electronic accompaniment placed throughout the song.
From Odd Future to Blonde
Born Christopher Edwin Cooksey, the American singer-songwriter now known as Frank Ocean, began as a ghostwriter before joining the hip-hop collective Odd Future in 2010, together with hip-hop star Tyler, the Creator and hip-hop soul artist Syd the Kid.
He released his debut mixtape "Nostalgia, Ultra", in 2011 to positive reception. "Nostalgia, Ultra" was inspired by Hurricane Katrina and his relocation to Los Angeles from New Orleans. A little after the release of his successful debut mixtape, he signed a recording contract with Def Jam Recordings, where he released his debut studio album "Channel Orange." His debut work with Def Jam topped the American Pazz & Jop, an annual poll created and joined by hundreds of music critics, as well as the British HMV Polls of Polls,
His next album, "Blonde," was also released to critical acclaim. The abstract and experimental project, which featured largely beatless tracks with uncommon sound sources, included guest vocals from André 3000 and Beyonce. Its lead single, "Nikes", debuted at number in the Billboard Hot 100, as well as in other countries. The 2016 album was released earlier as an iTunes exclusive before being released for sale. "Blonde" is currently certified platinum by the RIAA.
A Bisexual Icon?
In a 2016 interview with HuffPost, Frank Ocean shared his experience writing his iconic coming out blog post back in 2012. The "Cayendo" artist shared, "The night I posted it, I cried like a f**king baby". He described the experience as the frequency changing in his head, and all his "receptors" now received "a different signal". Overall, Ocean was happy about it.
On the question of whether he labels himself as a bisexual, he explained that life is dynamic with dynamic experiences, likening life to his thoughts on the genres of music. He added that "as a writer, as a creator," he is sharing his experiences, and there is no need to pry beyond it. Lyrics in his songs throughout the years have been directed at both men and women.