Fresh off his album release Frank Ocean has been the talk of the town and since his Tumblr letter exposing his sexuality people have been curious to know more and more about him.
What is the story behind his latest music? And what exactly are the plans and direction of his career?
Well the R&B singer sat down with the Guardian for a candid interview laying it all out for us.
On taking risk such as Nostalgia, Ultra as a mixtape and his "coming out" he says:
I won’t touch on risky, because that’s subjective. People are just afraid of things too much. Afraid of things that don’t necessarily merit fear. Me putting Nostalgia out … what’s physically going to happen? Me saying what I said on my Tumblr last week? Sure, evil exists, extremism exists. Somebody could commit a hate crime and hurt me. But they could do the same just because I’m black. They could do the same just because I’m American. Do you just not go outside your house? Do you not drive your car because of the statistics? How else are you limiting your life for fear.
On being labeled brave and courageous, Frank says:
"A lot of people have said that since that news came out. I suppose a percentage of that act was because of altruism; because I was thinking of how I wished at 13 or 14 there was somebody I looked up to who would have said something like that, who would have been transparent in that way. But there’s another side of it that’s just about my own sanity and my ability to feel like I’m living a life where I’m not just successful on paper, but sure that I’m happy when I wake up in the morning, and not with this freakin’ boulder on my chest.”
On releasing the letter right before his album dropped he says: "I knew that I was writing in a way that people would ask questions. I knew that my star was rising, and I knew that if I waited I would always have somebody that I respected be able to encourage me to wait longer, to not say it till who knows when. It was important for me to know that when I go out on the road and I do these things, that I’m looking at people who are applauding because of an appreciation for me,” he says. “I don’t have many secrets, so if you know that, and you’re still applauding … it may be some sort of sick validation but it was important to me. When I heard people talking about certain, you know, ‘pronouns’ in the writing of the record, I just wanted to – like I said on the post – offer some clarity; clarify, before the fire got too wild and the conversation became too unfocused and murky.”
On why he didn't just change the words "him" to "her" on tracks like "Bad Religon" and "Forest Gump:"
"When you write a song like Forrest Gump, the subject can’t be androgynous. It requires an unnecessary amount of effort. I don’t fear anybody … ” He laughs, making eye contact at last, his face lighting up, ” … at all. So, to answer your question, yes, I could have easily changed the words. But for what? I just feel like it’s just another time now. I have no interest in contributing to that, especially with my art. It’s the one thing that I know will outlive me and outlive my feelings. It will outlive my depressive seasons.”
On having a mystique:
“It’s not formulaic,” he says. “It’s not me necessarily trying to preserve mystique. It’s who I am. It’s how I prefer to move. I really don’t think that deeply about it at all, I swear I don’t. I’m just existing.”
Frank is definitely a very intriguing artist and paving his own way in the R&B game.
We're excited to see where he takes things next. Check out the full interview on the Guardian here!