R&B’s elusive crooner Frank Ocean is covering the latest issue of W magazine wearing a multicolored Prada windbreaker with an open mouth that slightly reveals two diamond-encrusted teeth.
The 31-year-old singer and songwriter rarely gives interviews or makes public statements but opened up a bit in this interview, talking about the music that he’s been listening to. “I’ve been interested in club [music], and the many different iterations of nightlife for music and songs. And so the things I look at now have a lot to do with those scenes: Detroit, Chicago, techno, house, French electronic.”
The New Orleans native also discussed what he’s been exploring in his new music. “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,” Ocean explained.
“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,” Ocean continued.
In 2016, Ocean released Endless, a visual album that he created specifically to fulfill his contractual obligation to his label at the time, Def Jam, and then dropped Blonde independently the next day. “I’ve been independent since 2016. So I plan on keeping it that way for a while,” Ocean said in regards to whether or not his next project will be independently produced. “I’ve got amazing credit, so if I need a loan, I’ll go to a bank,” Ocean continued.