entertainment

Joesef says Frank Ocean's Channel Orange 'changed his life' as he came to terms with being bisexual

The Scottish singer reflects on the songs and podcasts that have uniquely shaped his life in Attitude x Spotify's #OnlyYou series.

2021-06-22

In paid partnership with Spotify

Images: Markus Bidaux

When Frank Ocean came out publicly in 2012, it created waves through the hip-hop and wider music industry - and nine years on, the effects of his candour are still being felt by other artists following in his footsteps.

As Scottish singer Joesef joins Attitude for a brand new video series in partnership with Spotify, which sees LGBTQ stars reveal the songs and podcasts that have shaped their lives, the 'Does It Make You Feel Good?' singer points to Ocean's acclaimed debut album, Channel Orange, as the record which changed his life forever.

"Frank Ocean's Channel Orange was one of the first times I'd ever heard a guy in the hip-hop world singing about being gay," the 25-year-old declares.

"[It] was mind-blowing to me [because] it was predominantly a homophobic, straight guy space to be in, and there was this guy singing about being in love with a boy - not even in a sexual way, just being in love, which I thought was pretty groundbreaking."

Joesef, who released his own debut EP, Play Me Something Nice, in 2019, continues: "I think he's set a tone for a lot of other people following in his path.

"So Channel Orange, aye, I feel like that's changed a lot of lives, musically and culturally as well. "

Joesef recalls how the release of Channel Orange in 2012 coincided with a pivotal period in his own life, when he first embarked on relationship with a man and began to come to terms with being bisexual.

"I don't really have a proper coming out story - I just kinda told my mum I was with somebody and that was it - but during that period I was listening to a lot of Frank Ocean", he says.

"[The song] 'Thinkin Bout You' in particular just sums up the uncertainty that I was feeling at the time about a lot of things in my life, and not really knowing what I wanted to do with my life.

"I'd met somebody and the world was ending, but it was class. I was 20, nothing bad could have happened then, but I just didn't know what the future held and I think that song captured [that].

"For me personally, that's what I attach to that song. I didn't know what was going on but Frank Ocean was with me all the way."

Joesef adds with a grin: "I love Frank Ocean, man - I would marry that man immediately."

To mark the release of 'Only Joesef', a £500 charity donation will be made in his name via the Attitude Magazine Foundation to LGBT Youth Scotland, which provides quality youth work to LGBTQ young people and works in partnership for LGBTQ equality and human rights.

Listen to the Only Joesef playlist on Spotify and below. To discover more about your own unique listening habits, visit spotify.com/onlyyou.