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Is Frank Ocean finally about to make his return to the music sphere?

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCF chapter.

Frank Ocean posted a one-minute preview of a new song on his Instagram story a couple of weeks ago and sent fans reeling over the possibility that he might be releasing new music soon.

This was preceded by the artist’s subtle, but heavily noticed, return to social media. Ocean started posting pictures on his Instagram story starting in late October, after several months of no activity.

Ocean has not released new music in several years. His last full-length release was his album “Blonde”, which came out in August 2016 and was nominated for the Top R&B Album at Billboard Music Awards in 2017. He has since then released a few singles like “In My Room” and “DHL” in 2019. He has also done several of collabs with other prominent artists, most notably with rapper Tyler, The Creator. Ocean’s last official addition to his discography was in early 2020, consisting of the singles “Cayendo (Side A – Acoustic)” and “Dear April (Side A – Acoustic).”

Over the last decade, Ocean has only released two albums and has performed live less than 30 times, according to Billboard. But his recent activity over the past year, in combination with the song snippet he posted the other night, has made fans cling to the possibility that he will be breaking his musical silence soon.

Frank Ocean’s new song preview reposted by @popbase on Twitter

He first began hinting at a new album in January of this year, when a shipment of the latest “Blonde” merchandise was sent out after being out of stock on his website for several months. The select shipment included a new poster, which consisted of an exclusive description revealing Ocean’s recent efforts. The last line read that he has “changed his mind about the singles model, and is again interested in more durational bodies of work.” This left the impression that he was working on another album and that fans would hear from him again soon.

This was followed by his performance at the 2023 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in April. This was the first time Ocean had performed live in over six years. Despite him taking to the stage an hour late and canceling his following show for the second weekend due to an ankle injury, fans were thrilled because this was his first public appearance in several years. Ocean told his fans in the audience that “it’s been so long” and he has missed them. He then hinted at new music and prefaced he was not performing at Coachella because there was a new album. But he quickly followed this with the elusive statement “Not that there’s not a new album.”


After 6 long years of no live performances Frank Ocean will be closing Coachella these next 2 weekends. Let me hype you guys up real quick! #FrankOcean #fyp #coachella

♬ Self Control live by Blonded – Noel
Frank Ocean performing “Self Control” at Coachella in April via @blonded_ on TikTok

There have also been recent occurrences that contribute to the theories regarding new music. Ocean had a subtle feature in Drake’s new album “For All The Dogs,” which was released in early October. Though he was not credited as being featured, fans immediately took notice that the hypnotic vocal intro of the album’s opening track “Virginia Beach” belonged to Ocean’s unreleased song “Wise Man.” This is the first time Ocean has officially appeared on a new track in over three years.

This was followed by his sudden return to social media a few weeks later, making October an important month for Ocean fans. He started posting photos on his Instagram story around the time of his birthday on Oct. 28, after being silent on social media for an extended period of time. He has kept this up for several weeks and his posts have drawn a substantial amount of attention from both his fans and the media. This activity has also led him to gain over 300 thousand followers in the past two weeks. This culminated to Ocean posting the song preview on Nov. 8 and a photo of him in a recording studio a couple of days later. Both of which fans believe are clearly indicative of an upcoming release.

Ocean’s return to social media had additionally sparked rumors he would be making a surprise appearance at the annual Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival in Los Angeles in early November. This year’s line-up of the sold-out music festival, hosted by Tyler, The Creator, featured over 40 different artists, including SZA and Ice Spice. While it is apparent now that those speculations were inaccurate, Ocean is known for his spontaneity when it comes to his live performances.

Photo of Frank Ocean from his Instagram story reposted by @frankoceangoat on Instagram

There was also a concert date set for Jan. 25, 2024, in London that mysteriously appeared recently on Ocean’s Spotify artist profile under the heading “Upcoming Events” with a link to purchase tickets. It was added without warning and then abruptly removed on Nov. 9. The playlists on his official YouTube channel under the “Releases” section have also all been updated in the past few days without explanation.

Whether or not the rumors of an impending album release are true, several signs certainly suggest we can be expecting something from Frank Ocean in the near future.

Hopefully, he’ll step back into the spotlight and make his long-awaited return to the music sphere. But if not, we hope he will at least continue to let us in on what he’s up to and preview whatever he has in the works, through continuing to post on social media and starting to make more public appearances.

Because, honestly, we’re just happy to have him back

Kendal is a sophomore at the University of Central Florida, double-majoring in English Literature and Digital/Print Journalism. She is a content writer and associate editor for Her Campus UCF. She's also a reporter for NSM Today, UCF's student-run news outlet, and The Community Paper, a local newspaper in Downtown Orlando. Kendal has a passion for news reporting, her favorite coverage areas being breaking news and sports reporting. She also loves to write about art and music (along with anything relating to love). She's always stopping to take pictures of the sky and write her thoughts down in her notes app. Her go-to way of expressing herself apart from writing is by creating an endless amount of Spotify playlists.