How to Write Lyrics like Frank Ocean
1. Read Lyrics, Books, and Poetry Constantly
When looking at Frank Ocean’s lyrics it becomes readily apparent that he has an immense literary background. In songs such as Pyramids and Nights, Frank Ocean makes numerous different literary and musical allusions in only four short minutes. By constantly reading, like Frank Ocean, not only will your lyrics become more complex, but they will also become much easier to write as you will be able to pull from an extensive literary library when having writer’s block.
2. Write and Analyze Poetry
The lines between poetry and musical lyrics have only become more blurred in recent years and Frank Ocean has only attributed to this recent trend with his lyrics. Frank Ocean’s lyrics are filled with traditional poetic elements such as metaphors, similes, and symbolism. To write deeper and more complex lyrics you too must obtain a deeper understanding of the poetic world; however, do realize not all poetry makes great song lyrics as they are all not built for music. So do understand that while writing poetic lyrics will help increase the quality of your writing, you must still use the classic musical elements in your lyrics to make sure it will still fit with your production.
3. Live Life
In a world where artists seem to be releasing albums every year, Frank Ocean has decided to go a completely different route – only releasing two albums in the past seven years. Frank Ocean has said multiple different times that he takes a long hiatus from creating music between albums so that he can “live life” and create new experiences to speak about on albums. While taking long hiatuses may not be the best option for new artists, it’s important to remember to take your time on songs as creating a few incredible songs will be more beneficial to your career than a large number of sub-par ones.
4. Romanticize the Past
Frank Ocean’s lyrics have been hailed for their transparency and intricacy. To create this feeling in his lyrics Frank Ocean tends to rely heavily on his past experiences. Many times, in doing this, Frank Ocean has to create an interesting song from somewhat normal memories. To achieve this, Frank Ocean normally romanticizes the past to saturate his lyrics and make them more interesting. The most important part of this technique is that you romanticize the past and not completely make it up. By working on this technique and finding the perfect balance you can easily improve your lyrics and make them much easier for the listener to relate to.
5. Be Transparent About Your Experiences
While many artists like to keep their personal lives secret from the public, Frank Ocean does the complete opposite in his lyrics by bringing listeners into his life and internal struggles. By doing this Frank Ocean is able to seem more down the earth and genuine to listeners. Utilizing this technique in your music will allow for your fans to relate easily to your lyrics and help you to seem more authentic.
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