frank ocean reveals new details about his upcoming album
From club music to collaborations, here's everything we learned from his most recent interview.
Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Spotify.
In a new cover story for W, Frank Ocean opens up about growing up in New Orleans, his creative relationship with A$AP Rocky, and everything that’s influencing his current projects. The last bit just so happens to include some insights into his highly-anticipated new album, which we’ve dutifully rounded up here.
As far as what’s influencing Frank at the moment, he’s looking to a few different scenes for inspiration. “I’ve been interested in club, and the many different iterations of nightlife for music and songs,” he says. “And so the things I look at now have a lot to do with those scenes: Detroit, Chicago, techno, house, French electronic…”
When asked about themes or ideas that he’s exploring, Frank hints that the new album might be slightly less autobiographical and a little more fantastical than 2016’s Blonde. He says: “I believed for a very long time that there was strength in vulnerability, and I really don’t believe that anymore. “Strength” and “vulnerability” sound opposite as words. And so to combine them sounds wise, but I don’t know if it is wise. It’s just this realization that hit me: ‘Oh, right, it’s a choice whether you will be truthful or a liar.’ If I start to tell a story and then I decide not to tell the story anymore, I can stop. It’s my story. The expectation for artists to be vulnerable and truthful is a lot, you know?—when it’s no longer a choice. Like, in order for me to satisfy expectations, there needs to be an outpouring of my heart or my experiences in a very truthful, vulnerable way. I’m more interested in lies than that. Like, give me a full motion-picture fantasy.”
The musician also suggests he’s trying to work more with others, including session musicians, producers, and featured artists, and that he’s “toying with format.” “But the medium—the CD, vinyl set, or whatever—has moved to an intangible, and there’s no 45-minute limit, 60-minute limit, or 120-minute limit. It’s just so elastic,” he says.
While Frank admits that he doesn’t have a release date in mind for new music, we like to think that with four years between Channel Orange and Blonde, his new album will come out in 2020. Fingers crossed.