Frank Ocean hasn’t released any new music this year, but he has been giving quite a few interviews throughout 2019, and his latest is with W magazine for a cover story. In it, he talks about music, fashion, and whatever else he’s interested in right now. When asked whether he was working on anything new at the moment, he gave a very typical Frank response: “My answer to that is that I’m always working on music and other things. Right now I’m working on doing four underwater laps in the pool.”
While he makes it clear that there’s no release date for his next album, he did talk a little bit about where his head is at: “I’ve been interested in club, 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,” as well as the New Orleans bounce of his youth.
He says he’s been working with a string arranger in Rio de Janeiro and that he won’t upload anything they’ve made: “Because I don’t put things on the Internet,” he explains. “I have to send a drive with someone to Rio, or I have to go myself.” He also reiterates that he doesn’t want to sign with a label any time soon: “I’ve been independent since 2016. So I plan on keeping it that way for a while. I’ve got amazing credit, so if I need a loan, I’ll go to a bank.”
Ocean also says that he’d “like to get away from work that’s solitary by nature,” continuing:
I’ve never been in a band or had a songwriting partner or been with a group, so it’s always been a lot of time on my own writing and doing the work. I like the parts of the process where I work with session musicians or with other record producers or featured artists and guest vocalists. 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.
He’s also asked about politics and how he plans to wield his platform in the upcoming election:
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. It’s simple to go vote; it’s complicated to galvanize votes. I’d like to have as many schemes as possible. There’s truth to this idea that every generation has something really big to be afraid of — at least one thing that affects their survival or their quality of life. I don’t think that we’ve reached a point where I no longer have a choice but to be pessimistic. I still think I have a choice to be optimistic about the possibilities.
Read the full W interview here.