Frank Ocean Opens Up To New York Times
Frank Ocean is about as mysterious as an artist can get – yet, there’s still heavy intrigue even when he continuously sikes his fans out about when new music will drop.
He’s mastered the mind tricks of the music industry and developing a cult fan base. And it’s rare that he even does interviews. However, when he does, eyes and ears are tuned-in to what he has to say because it’s likely the only time we’ll get a glimpse of the artist’s mind before he goes back in to “hiding”.
Frank decided to have an in-depth conversation with The New York Times, where topics ranged from his split with Def Jam, choosing to be in the shadows of the mainstream spotlight and opting out of putting his albums up for Grammy consideration.
When it comes to being at odds with the Grammys, Frank called withholding his albums his “Colin Kaepernick” moment.
“I think the infrastructure of the awarding system and the nomination system and screening system is dated,” he told NYT. “I’d rather this be my Colin Kaepernick moment for the Grammys than sit there in the audience.”
Interesting comparison being that Kaepernick’s stance against the national anthem came as a response to the unjust treatment of Black and brown lives at the hands of police officers. The social stance holds a heavier weight, but yeah, we get the point being made here.
One thing for sure is that Frank is an artist about the art. The big radio hits and hyped-up debut weeks, is nothing to him. With his latest projects Endless and Blonde, it was about being free with the release of his music. No pressure.
“I wanted to feel like I won before the record came out, and I did, and so it took a lot [of] pressure off of me about how the record would perform after the fact. It’s not essential for me to have a big debut week, it’s not essential for me to have big radio records.”
This is true. Remember that earlier statement about Frank developing a cult following? Well, when he hinted at the release of his latest projects, folks were glued to their tech devices awaiting the moment it would actually happen.
Then, after making an exclusive deal with Apple, Frank Ocean fans stayed locked in to over an hour of music while watching the artist be “an artist”.
Following the release of Endless, which fulfilled his contract with Def Jam, the singer parted ways and dropped Blonde.
The mystique of Frank Ocean can also be admired in some ways. He’s not out for the glam of Hollywood and over saturated material but deeper, conceptual cuts that can often trace back to personal memories and take on autobiographical form.
Read his full interview, here.