Frank Ocean has returned with the first episode of his Apple Music show, Blonded Radio, since 2019. Shared on Christmas Day, the show features almost nine minutes of new music from the musician himself, as well as words from the extreme athlete Wim Hof (AKA The Iceman).
“Me and (Wim Hof) had a conversation some time ago when I was in the earlier stages of grief,” Ocean explains in an Instagram story. “And I remember marveling afterwards at how his energy blasted through the phone. So much vim in this Wim.”
“We spoke for a while about his work, the purpose of grief and how going into the cold water changed his life. It reminded me of conversations in the studio with players I know. Freewheeling, psychedelic, emotionally charged, intelligent and generous. I enjoyed listening to him, so in this edit I just let him speak uninterrupted.”
The “Dear April” singer adds that he played sounds underneath the chat — alongside collaborators Cory Henry and Dylan Patrice Wiggins — to “heighten the feeling”.
Also discussing the new material at the end of the show, he continues: “I added some writing at the end that I did a single take of w Cory in the summer of 2020. I came back and added a few words and parts over the tops of that take more recently. Felt like it fit the wabi sabi of Wim’s words.” The music itself features his vocals over a stripped-back piano track.
Frank Ocean’s younger brother, Ryan Moore (also known as Ryan Breaux) was killed in a car crash in August 2020. Besides the new Blonded Radio show, Ocean has stayed fairly quiet since his brother’s death, though he did launch his luxury company, Homer, in August this year.
“Hand on my heart, this project has kept my mind moving and my imagination turning throughout it all,” he wrote in an Instagram story to mark the launch. “All of my work now is dedicated to my family. Everything. My hope is to make things that last, that are hard to destroy, set it in stone.”
Listen to the Christmas 2021 edition of Blonded Radio here, and find Ocean’s new original material below.