Frank Ocean interview – BBC Sound of 2012


what inspires me to make music is I guess I’m just inspired to tell stories and
You got to make sure the listener is listening to you
and so if you put it in the form of a song oftentimes if the you know if the song is striking enough
Then you can really deliver the story you know most effectively while keeping the ear the listener the whole time so you
Know I guess it all starts with the stories for me I
Do feel more like a visual artist when you’re storytelling is
You know your your own experiences and memories and you know
personal wisdom and Knowledge, so a
Lot of that. I’m gonna pull from that place it comes along with pictures you know and
When I’m when I’m trying to make a song
Even the form of it even the part that doesn’t have words the parts that don’t have words
It’s still you know really trying to make a photograph out of something that you can never see you know like materials that aren’t visible
But still trying to make a photograph you know
As I future impacted my career
um
absolutely
Absolutely if I’m liberated my thinking and in some ways creative creatively in in a sense of knowing
That you can do a lot of it by yourself
You know um not just the songs, but just taking control of your whole Movement I
Think we all change each other’s paths, you know
um I
don’t know which which which Lord
idea that is in Physics, but I don’t think I
Don’t think any of us can live without affecting one another you know um not to be
Broad but it’s true. I think I
Think I’ve been affected my path has [been] changed and affected by everybody I’ve encountered in my life
I don’t know how far my music is taking me socially geographically
It’s only taking me to london. [I] had to cancel my paris and amsterdam shows good. I sick. I like London a lot [I]
Like the London crowd a lot
It was probably three inches between me and the first person in the crowd
Sometimes less you know so it was cool as a difference in every crowd that I played so far
They’re like
It’s hard to put a finger on what it is exactly, but they just differ like in different cities when I played in New Orleans
The crowd knew every song – Nostalgia Ultra that was trippy
Nostalgia Ultra
making that was
Was a labor of love it was like
Difficult you know to make not
Like writing the songs or arranging the songs I mean that had a level of difficulty, [too]
but just
Piecing together all the resources to do it
You know at the level that I wanted to like the quality of record. I wanted to make and
not you know not really know how to make beats and not really know how to engineer like that and
Um really only being a singer-songwriter at the end of the day
you know it was it was difficult that I had a level [II] difficulty but
it was
It was a process that I appreciated you know so much you know and appreciate so much in retrospect
The video director, I work with a lot in the [bill] [elder] ken um [homie]. He’s passionate he’s
you know
convicted
And we kind of we can bump heads occasionally, but because I’m the same way you know um
but
It’s talented you know and we kind of getting
You know flow of working?
You know we both get we [one]
the video Concept was a I guess inspired by
like Japanese cartoons and a little bit of like Afro Samurai [too] and [uh]
it was also a
great excuse to blow up a car and
go to Big sur and
You know hang out hillside and just be beautiful
Be art like you know just that this just more so than a narrative like just shoot something. I was
Beautiful. [I] just looked
Look the part
Novocaine was yeah, that’s different Novocaine
[as] opposed to Swim good had more of a
It was like clear what I was trying to do. I was just trying to connect or
Articulate visually the feeling of being numb like the feeling of somebody trying to love you, but you can’t feel it
like the feeling of
the feeling of
Wanting to feel something that you can’t feel
And so it’s numb. It’s numbing and a lot of things can cause that numbing in the video though
it was like some sort of topical anesthetic and a little bit of special effects and
There you have it
dripper booty in Iraq most people have a hard time predicting
Where I might be or what I might be doing
if I’m not in the studio like I could be I could be doing you know a
mucky form
By the beach I could be
Doing indoor rock climbing I could be reading
um
Wikipedia Pages on random information, I could be I could be doing anything ism. There’s a number of things
it’s pretty rad to hear Beyonce sing a song of yours or to hear um Jigga or
[yay] like rhyme over and [Beyond] a song at Cheer on these are
you know some of the heroes of my generation you know so
working with them and
Even being called out like you know
To be on those projects like it wasn’t my doing it wasn’t like I was shopping a song for these projects. It was like they
called me to come to the studio and that’s
That’s pretty rad
[shoe]
great
on this record this
Latest body of work I’ve been doing I think [it] up
It succinctly defines me as an artist for you know
Where I am right [now]
You know and that was the aim just to make something that just represents
Where you are at that time you know and I space and time and it does that it’s about the stories like I said, so
if I write 14 stories
Got I love
Then the next step is to get the environment of music around it
To best like I guess
Envelop the story you know uh in like all kinds of Sonic Goodness Sonic Goodies. [oh]
Sonic good good
goodies, that’s a weird word Goodies
2012 and Beyond I
mean I
don’t know I’ve been feeling really mortal lately you know I’ve been feeling feeling really mortal lately and
if I could do anything [you]
[know] I’m from from today not even looking at it in years but today on
it’s just really about
Trying to do whatever it is I do
At a level of excellence, and that’s that’s really all I’m trying to do while I’m in it
You gotta put it’s freezing here cuz it’s cold so that just gives you context for I’m shivering through my answers
and
[let’s] just slow mode and put that on a discovery channel

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