Frank Oceans mum: Hes so proud of what Ive done

Katonya Breaux left her job in construction to make suncream that works for all skin colours which is why she didnt have time to lend her vocal talent to her sons international smash hit …

When Katonya Breaux asked Twitter about sunscreen that does not leave a white sheen on darker skin, she spotted a hole in the market. She also realised that many people were unaware of the dangers of exposure to the sun. There is a learning gap between women of colour, she says.

Speaking from her home in Calabasas, California, she tells me about UnSun a line of sunscreen that she has just launched. Although it is designed for darker skin, in a neat twist on diversity, it also works on all complexions. The plaudits are pouring in.

I ask her about moving from construction the industry she worked in for 20 years to beauty. She pauses, as a dog barks in the background. Sorry, she says. Two dogs, actually. Always barking. One is Bisous, a bichon frise, the other is Everest, a Bernese mountain dog who belongs to her son, Frank Ocean. Frank the most talked-about artist of the year, the man whose much-delayed new album, Blonde, has topped the charts in the UK and the US Ocean. That Frank Ocean.

unsun But back to Unsun. Breaux has worn sunscreen ever since her 20s, when she noticed molesappearing above her lip. Atfirst, she liked them, painting her lips red, going a little bit Marilyn Monroe. Then, when a few more appeared, she went to the GP, got scared, read about theunder-reported problem of skin cancer in people of colour, and became more diligent, really, because you have to be. Then her aunt got skin cancer.

So, does she think about the beauty industry? I dont think its diverse enough, but it is improving, she says. There is a long way to go.

Breaux features prominently on the Unsun website and, at 50 years old, is an impressive advertisement for her own product. But, when I suggest that she get Frank to model for her, she laughs. I cant get him to do that, she says.

So, is her son supportive of herbusiness? Incredibly, yes, I send him articles and hes so great, so proud, she says.

What does she think of his new album? Oh, we love it we meaning Breaux and her son, Ryan, Franks brother. Apparently, they play it in the car every morning on the way to school. We always turn it up loud at the end. And her favourite song? Thats hard. Nikes, I think.

Then comes the big question: was, as has been widely rumoured, hers the voice on the song Be Yourself that says: Do not smoke marijuana, do not consume alcohol, do not get in the car with someone who is inebriated. This is mom, call me, bye.

That wasnt me, no, Breaux answers, but I would have done it happily. And why the delay why did Frank torture us with such a long wait? Ah you know Frank is an artist, hes creative. That just happens.

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