On Christmas Day, the 34-year-old singer surprised fans by sharing a nine-minute composition inspired by a chat he had with Dutch motivational speaker Wim Hof on his Apple radio program “Blonded Radio.”
Ocean can be heard rapping to a lengthy piano piece on the untitled single, which was recorded by the “Chanel” hitmaker in 2020.
The artist’s brother Ryan Breaux, who died in a vehicle accident last year, was also interviewed on the radio show.
Ocean wrote on Instagram: “Me and @iceman_hof had a conversation some time ago when I was in the earlier stages of grief and I remember marveling afterward 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.”
Ocean added: “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. Me, (Cory Henry), and (Dylan Patrice) played some sounds underneath to heighten the feeling. I added some writing at the end that I did a single take of [with] Cory in the summer of 2020.
“I came back and added a few words and parts over the top of that take more recently. Felt like it fit the wabi sabi of Wim’s words. Merry Xmas everyone.”
Ocean hasn’t released an album since Blonde in 2016, which he self-released following a separation from Def Jam Recordings so he wouldn’t have to worry about the album’s chart performance.
He said: “With this record [Blonde] in particular, I wanted to feel like I won before the record came out, and I did, and so it took a lot pressure off of me about how the record even would perform after the fact. Once the goal is met, everything else is lagniappe. It’s not essential for me to have a big debut week, it’s not essential for me to have big radio records.”