Frank Ocean starts the year covering the February issue of GQ Magazine. For the cover story, Frank talks finally making his IG public along with encouraging people to vote. He touches on his blonded merch, moving to New York City plus much more. Take a look at some of what he had to say below and read the article over at GQ.
EMMETT CRUDDAS: I wanted to start off by asking you about the gesture of making your Instagram public. I know you don’t do a lot of interviews, but how do you feel about having the opportunity to say what you want to say when you want to say it without being mediated like that?
FRANK OCEAN: I feel like there was dissonance between how I was seen by the audience and where I was actually, so that contributed to the decision to make my Instagram public, for sure. But there’s also the idea of dialogue and discourse and conversation—like theater where the audience can interrupt you versus the television.
VEGYN: With that in mind, do you think there’s any misconceptions people might have about you that you’re trying to confront?
OCEAN: I feel like between the numbers of zero to ten, in between every number there’s infinity, you know? I would describe a person as the space between the symbols, beyond the language. That dissonance—the word being a big container for what I was feeling…the way I was seen was not even close to correct. It’s still not correct, either.
With some pop stars, the idea of them is maybe more balanced or fully formed: a half-dozen magazine covers, x amount of interviews, a daily influx of media. There’s a way you wanna be in the visual press, although you could potentially be misrepresented; when you’re completely minimal with media, there’s a lot of pressure on whatever one thing you’re doing, the stakes are higher. Social media helps that, ’cause you’re fully in control and can message that how you want.
VEGYN: How did you find moving to New York? What do you like about living there?
OCEAN: I like it a lot because I spend more time at the house. I think it comes from living in hotels, but when I’m in L.A., I find myself in my car a lot.… Which is stress. In New York, it’s the first time in a minute that I’ve had my own space that’s not a hotel and not some rented home, where everything around me is mine, and that’s been really cozy and comfortable this past year. When I first got to the place, I was sleeping in the living room on this mattress Spike [Jonze] told me to get—the Duxiana—which is so nice it has an owners’ club. [laughs] It was in the middle of my living room, and I’d wake up feeling unsuccessful for the most part: Because I had nothing around. It wasn’t like I had things on the way, either; nothing was coming and there was nothing up. The feeling was absurd, but now I have things, and that’s nice. That and having the seasons. I guess I had them when I was in London, but that’s almost just the opposite of L.A. I enjoy the energy working project to project in New York that I can get from looking out my window or going downstairs: It’s the people, their pace, the unsaid energy.
VEGYN: Do you have any vices?
OCEAN: I used to love mezcal. That’s like the adult/underground version of tequila. I was in Art Basel in Florida—not Switzerland, unfortunately—I was out having a few cocktails with friends, dancing, et cetera. I went to the fair the next day, and everything was okay. And all of a sudden I felt I was going down [laughter], I was about to pass out in the hallway of the convention center, so I took a knee and I had to sit against the wall.… Rocky passed out at a fashion show, and said they had him held up like a ventriloquist [laughter], and that’s kinda how I felt as they put me outside. I sat outside in the fresh air for a couple of hours before I felt comfortable going back in. I haven’t had a drink since, so it’s not an answer to your question, but yeah.
Maybe my vice is that I watch way too much TV news. I know that I’m not getting real information, but I still watch it. I wish my vice was VH1 reality-TV shows, but it’s not—it’s MSNBC. MSNBC is Love & Hip Hop with better vocabulary and more range, but it’s the same thing. Very much entertainment.