Frank Ocean is notoriously elusive. When he stopped to talk to reporters for just a minute at the White House last month, it was a huge deal even though he barely said anything, because barely saying anything is a lot more than saying nothing. But now he’s given a real, honest-to-god interview — his first in years — discussing Blonde, Endless, his life, and his career with Jon Caramanica of The New York Times. So what does Frank Ocean have to say about things?
I’m glad you asked! Here’s what Frank Ocean has to say about record sales:
I know exactly what the numbers are. I need to know. I need to know how many records I’ve sold, how many album equivalents from streaming, which territories are playing my music more than others, because it helps me in conversations about where we’re gonna be playing shows, or where I might open a retail location, like a pop-up store or something.
Which maybe implies that he’s going to play some shows? He also addressed his decision to not submit any of his albums for Grammy consideration next year (which Kanye West is not happy about):
That institution certainly has nostalgic importance. It just doesn’t seem to be representing very well for people who come from where I come from, and hold down what I hold down. I think the infrastructure of the awarding system and the nomination system and screening system is dated. I’d rather this be my Colin Kaepernick moment for the Grammys than sit there in the audience.
And he’s thinking of abandoning the album format, or maybe abandoning music altogether for a while:
Because I’m not in a record deal, I don’t have to operate in an album format. I can operate in half-a-song format…I believe that I’m one of the best in the world at what I do, and that’s all I’ve ever wanted to be. It’s more interesting for me to figure out how to be superior in areas where I’m naïve, where I’m a novice.
In conclusion: How does Frank Ocean decorate his apartment? Not very extensively, apparently:
I just wanted to be able to walk around and not run into an end table or some useless piece of furniture.