Frank Ocean has won over the hearts of many and has made an honestly lyrical mark in the world of music.
Raking in six Grammy nominations, the singer/songwriter caught up with the Guardian to discuss his accomplishments, his lyrics and what artists he’s been listening to, but most importantly Frank reveals that Channel Orange could be his last album!
Check out excerpts from the interview below:
I’d like to talk about your lyrics. You seem to work in a very cinematic way.
Whenever I think about movies, I always look at that art process as having the best of a lot of worlds. Because if you watch a great film, you have a musical element to it, not just on the scoring, but in the way that the shots are edited – that has music and rhythm and time.
Obviously the cinematography of films is art, just as a still shot can be art. If I’m watching a Wes Anderson movie, the colour palettes alone, and the way they’re painted, could be art. With music you’re a little bit limited, of course, because it’s only audio. Apart from the artwork and the music videos, if you can get the label to give you money for shit like that, or if you can do it yourself. But the storytelling, that’s where you can really paint pictures. You can’t do it with a melody or a sound or a rhythm or a chord progression. The storytelling part of it is the most interesting and challenging part of the whole process for me.
That’s quite unusual. A lot of people don’t take care over their lyrics like that.
I don’t think that’s true. A lot of people do. That’s a real – what’s the word? – a strength, a focus rather, of a lot of contemporary musicians. But you’re right. Some people focus more on sonics. Some people focus more on story. I focus on both sonics and story, but music sometimes, just music itself, can turn into more of a maths problem. I guess everything in life is a math problem, but it can be more about an empirical route to getting the symmetry that you want, and this vibe, sonically. But storytelling’s a different thing. Like I said, it’s the more interesting part about making music for me, or making albums and songs and stuff. So much so that I might not make another album. I might just write a novel next. I don’t know!
I don’t believe you. You just said you were in the studio.
Yeah, but I was working on another artist. I wasn’t working on me.
So Channel Orange could be your last album? This could be it?
It could be. It could be it, if I flew next week and my plane crashed! It could be it if somebody walked along and shot me for my bracelet or something. It could always be it. The idea of recognising your strengths and using them in as versatile a way as you can is cool to me. I don’t ever want to be caught up in a system of thinking I can do one thing cos that’s just … that’s just telling yourself a lie. But I do like to sing. I play piano every day. I enjoy that.