Fine. I’ll say it.
Frank Sativa reminds me juuuuust a bit of another artist named Frank. Yeah, that Frank.
I understand the weight of such a statement. And I understand that there’s a certain laziness that comes with comparing rising artists to their established predecessors. It’s reductive and unhelpful and ultimately unfair. But hear me out.
Frank Ocean is the most incredible artist of my generation. His greatness is in part defined by his world-beating talent, of course; yet, even more so, his greatness is defined by his holistic insistence to do what others won’t. With just two full-length albums, a few singles, and a handful of mixtapes, Frank hasn’t just developed a sound of his own. He’s developed an entire genre of his own. He is constantly evolving, refusing to simply create music for the sake of doing so. There will never be another Frank Ocean. And if you’ve ever heard that beat switch in Nights then you know exactly what I mean.
But Frank Sativa is something special. He feels like the new kid on the block, an artist who’s only just learning how good he can actually be. Like I said, hear me out.
When Kobe Bryant came into the league, everyone compared him to Michael Jordan. It’s easy to see why; stylistically, they had very similar games - from their mid range jumpers to their damn near perfect footwork to the way that they could kill you from anywhere on the court. But for all of the video montages of their identical fadeaways, there was this intangible quality that they shared.
Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant made basketball an artform. They were relentless: fierce competitors who were forever unsatisfied. Above all else, they wanted to win. And let the record show that they did.
This is all to say that comparing Frank Sativa to Frank Ocean isn’t meant to box him in to a genre or a sound or a style. It’s meant to emphasize that I see something a little bit special in Sativa, just as we all see in Ocean. It’s intangible and unique and I’m trying to put my finger on exactly what it is.
It’s his presence.
It’s his vibe.
You’ll understand what I mean when you just listen to his single, Runnin Out of Time, a collaboration with Tommy Richman. The song is comforting and unsettling all at once. It’s haunting and cinematic and beautiful and unfamiliar, a song that begs you to listen again and again. And with each listen, you’ll latch onto something new. I’m obsessed with the song’s intro and outro. The intro ushers the listener in, inviting and comforting; the outro is slowed down, encouraging the listener to reflect on what they just experienced. The song is ethereal and out of body: so goddamn soothing and unmistakably unique.
I’ve had Runnin Out of Time on repeat for the last two weeks (before Sativa and Richman released the track on all streaming platforms, it was making rounds on TikTok and SoundCloud). Sativa and Richman demonstrate an unreal chemistry, thanks to their collective willingness to separate themselves from the rest of the independent scene and challenge conventions. Like Frank, Tommy has proven that he’s something special. He’s got a wicked cool style: inimitable, ever-evolving, genre-bending, his deeply-rooted punk spirit shining through his music.
Together, the two artists seem to bring the best out of one another. Lyrically, vocally, and compositionally, the song comes together beautifully. And really, it should be no surprise that two artists as cool and as well-rounded as Frank Sativa and Tommy Richman are able to create a song as incredible as this one. But Runnin Out of Time is more than just an incredible song. It’s a special song - one that I legitimately have not been able to stop listening to. These fellas killed this shit. Let's hope we get to hear them work together again at some point. Stream on Spotify: