If you’re anything like me and the rest of the internet, there’s been a Frank Ocean-shaped hole left in your heart ever since 2016, when the artist released his seminal record Blonde. Ocean’s controversial 2023 Coachella appearance was far from enough to satisfy fans who have long been clamouring for something new from the R&B singer.
We feel the pain, but worry not, for new Ocean music has just been leaked, and we’re fairly certain it’s not AI-generated. Better yet, it also features Spanish icon Rosalía. And no, this is not a drill.
The track, initially uploaded by YouTube user Dosa on 2 May 2023, is titled ‘Changes’ and is speculated by fans to have been recorded in late 2019, with the music video having allegedly been filmed in 2020. Due to the nature of the leak, the audio quality is poor, but Ocean’s iconic blend of moody melodies and heartache are evident on the track, made even more vibrant by ‘BIZCOCHITO’ legend Rosalía. The original YouTube video has since been removed from the video-sharing platform.
The music video, rumoured to be leaked by director Hidjiworld, begins by showing Ocean and his entourage hanging out in a massive mansion. It’s so refreshing to see the singer dancing around in between shots, hugging Rosalía warmly as the camera follows him and various different models throughout the home.
It’s no overstatement to say that Rosalía’s dresses came to slay in this music video. The Spanish singer appears in an iconic pink dress with a long train throughout. Keen-eyed YouTube commenters also spotted rappers A$AP Rocky and Slowthai in the music video, but strangely, the track doesn’t feature either of the artists’ vocals.
So, why has this video and track been shelved for so long? Fans have long speculated as to why Ocean has been so sparing with new music since Blonde, with the leading theory being more tragic than you might have thought.
Ocean lost his brother, Ryan Breaux in a car crash in 2020, the same year that the music video was allegedly filmed. This is likely the reason that this music video never saw the light of day, and why the ‘Novacane’ singer has since stepped out of the spotlight.
After the video was released, many users were sympathetic but definitely grateful to have even a crumb of new music from Ocean. One user commented beneath the video: “I really wish this had all gone to plan bruh this looks like it would’ve been an insane era for him.” Others were unfortunately not so understanding, with one user suggesting that “leakers care more about fans than Frank [Ocean], let’s be real!”
The ‘Changes’ music video is a glimpse of what could have been, and maybe what could be to come?If, of course, Ocean chooses to once again release new music. Although brief and slightly controversial, the singer-songwriter’s recent performance at Coachella has given fans some hope that a return is on the horizon.