Frank Ocean Talks To The New York Times on Love, Frustrations, Moving to Shanghai & More



Frank Ocean was interviewed by the The New York Times Magazine who spent time with him in Los Angeles, where he opened up  and flatly told them about what he thought about music and journalism: The most important thing is to just press play.” He followed that with, “All in all, I just don’t trust journalists — and I don’t think it’s a good practice for me to trust journalists.”  But opened up anyway…

On falling In love

“I was 19 years old. He was too.” The two-paragraph message was a product of a sensitive mind and a still-broken heart. “By the time I realized I was in love, it was malignant. It was hopeless. There was no escaping, no negotiating with the feeling, no choice. It was my first love. It changed my life,” he wrote. “Imagine being thrown from a plane.”

On Def Jam frustrations:

I don’t know where to begin. I think ultimately the problem with it was that nobody was ready to act on anything, any of the language [of the contract], except the language to keep me in it.


On recording channel ORANGE:

Even though [the tracks] were all sketches, there was so much comfort, because I heard in my head how it was going to sound. Now all I’ve got to do is finish it.

On the importance of image:

I have no delusions about my likability, in every scenario. I know that in order to get things done the way you want them, oftentimes your position will be unpopular… That’s why image is so important. That’s why you’ve got to practice brevity when you do interviews like this. I could try to make myself likable to you so you could write a piece that keeps my image in good standing, because I’m still selling this, or I could just say, ‘My art speaks for itself.’

On the power of intangible concepts:

We’re talking about substances­, but we forget how intoxicating things that aren’t tangible, things that aren’t chemical substances, are. You forget about it. I’m saying, you know, love. Power. Money, which is power. Freedom. Honesty. Because that explicit truth I was talking about probably had the same effect [on me] as heroin does on some people.

On finding inspiration:

I don’t worry about where [the inspiration] will come from. I think even with [my depression] cured, there’s still so much to pull from. I know people like to say that. You know, ‘It’s a gift and a curse.’ It’s not a gift. I don’t believe that. I believe it’s just pain. The gift would be the gift whether I went through it or not. We’d just be having a different conversation.