Frank Ocean graced the cover of W Magazine on Monday (Sept. 30) and sat down for a rare interview, in which he dished on plans for new music, his goal to swim four consecutive laps underwater, political activism and more.
The New Orleans native is pulling on an array of nightlife scenes for inspiration at the moment, and they’re playing a key role in his creative process at the studio. “I’ve been interested in club, and the many different iterations of nightlife for music and songs,” he explained. “And so the things I look at now have a lot to do with those scenes: Detroit, Chicago, techno, house, French electronic.”
Ocean doesn’t necessarily agree with artists showing strength in vulnerability by being truthful with their music, as he’d rather have someone paint a picture through a full-fledged fantasy. “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,” said Frank. “I’m more interested in lies than that. Like, give me a full motion-picture fantasy.”
Even though he predominantly works alone, the Blonde artist maintained he’s surrounding himself with other creatives he respects. “I like the parts of the process where I work with session musicians or with other record producers or featured artists and guest vocalists,” Frank said. “I’ve been trying to make time to do more of that sort of thing, and be in spaces where I’m not the expert.”
Ocean will also be continuing his political activism in the future. For the 2018 mid-term election, he rewarded those who proved they voted in swing states with fresh t-shirts. “The stakes are high. I would replace the word ‘responsibility’ with ‘opportunity’ when it comes to voting, because you have the right to do nothing, but you have an opportunity to do so much more,” he said. “It’s simple to go vote; it’s complicated to galvanize votes.”