Frank Ocean Answers All Your Burning Questions In First Post-Blond Interview
Frank Ocean went from missing person status to low-key artist status when he dropped Endless and Blond a few months back. The albums may have confirmed that he was in fact alive but beyond that we didn't hear a peep outta Frank. Luckily, the legend has emerged from obscurity to for an in-depth interview with the New York Times. The wide-ranging conversation covers everything from Frank's biggest ragrets to how he knows when a song is done. He also explained why his Channel Orange follow-up took so damn long, saying: "I had writer's block for almost a year … [I'd go into the studio and] stare at the monitors and come up with nothing, or nothing that I liked."
Frank's grown up reflections on fame and music industry bullshit remind us that he's one of the most brilliant minds in the game. But Frank doesn't intent to rest on his laurels now that he's achieved this status. "I believe that I'm one of the best in the world at what I do, and that's all I've ever wanted to be," he said. "It's more interesting for me to figure out how to be superior in areas where I'm naïve, where I'm a novice."
Read some other highlights from the interview below and head here to take in the fantastic full thing.
"Sometimes I'm fascinated with how famous my work could be while I'm not so famous. Super-envious of the fact that Daft Punk can wear robot helmets and be one of the most famous bands in the world, while also understanding that will never be my situation. It's too late. It's hard to articulate how I think about myself as a public figure. I've gotten used to being Frank Ocean. A lot of people stopped me on the street when I hadn't put music out in a while, literally would yell out of an Uber, 'Frank, where the album?'"
On why he didn't do the Grammys:
"I think the infrastructure of the awarding system and the nomination system and screening system is dated. I'd rather this be my Colin Kaepernick moment for the Grammys than sit there in the audience."
On using multiple voices on his tracks:
"Sometimes I felt like you weren't hearing enough versions of me within a song, 'cause there was a lot of hyperactive thinking. Even though the pace of the album’s not frenetic, the pace of ideas being thrown out is."
On the career moves he regrets:
"Certain moments were drawbacks for sure. Now I look at things differently, but at the time, yeah. Audiences in excess of five million people [on national TV]. I was always reluctant to do those things except in cases where they had this nostalgic significance to me. Like performing at the VMAs, being tapped to perform at the Grammys — me saying yes to those things had a lot to do with how those things made me feel before I was actually in the business. And just wanting to be rubbing shoulders with those people and being seen at those places. I still was reluctant and sort of skeptical of those things because I questioned whether or not I was prepared."
On his songwriting process:
"When I was making the record, there was 50 versions of 'White Ferrari'. I have a 15-year-old little brother, and he heard one of the versions, and he’s like, 'You gotta put that one out, that's the one.' And I was like, 'Naw, that's not the version,' because it didn't give me peace yet."