Frank Ocean Wants to Experiment With the Idea of 'Strength' and 'Vulnerability' in His New Music

In a new interview, Frank Ocean details the themes and ideas he's aiming to explore in his songwriting.


Image via Getty/Dia Dipasupil/FilmMagic


Frank Ocean is exploring the idea of the "full motion-picture fantasy" in his new music.

W Magazinegot the latest Ocean scoop, speaking with the reliably versatile and always inspiring artist for a new cover story feature published Monday.

“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,” he said about what he's been thinking about and looking at these days.

After explaining that the current "new project" he was working on mid-interview was getting through four underwater laps in the pool at his New York home, Ocean was asked to elaborate on the themes and ideas he's digging into with the music he's been making recently.

"I believed for a very long time that there was strength in vulnerability, and I really don't believe that anymore," he said, noting that "strength" and "vulnerability" are two words that sound like opposite ideas. For Ocean's writing, it's his story, meaning he can decide to tell or not tell it at any moment.

"The expectation for artists to be vulnerable and truthful is a lot, you know?—when it's no longer a choice," he said. "Like, in order for me to satisfy expectations, there needs to be an outpouring of my heart or my experiences in a very truthful, vulnerable way. I'm more interested in lies than that. Like, give me a full motion-picture fantasy."

Moving forward, Ocean said he's also interested in "toying with format" in terms of how music is released and he'd like to move away from his usual creative methods revolving around solitude. 

"I like the parts of the process where I work with session musicians or with other record producers or featured artists and guest vocalists," he said. "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."

Ocean also said he plans on "keeping it that way for a while" with regards to being independent and shared the origin story of his verse on the ASAP Mob cut "Raf," as well as teased an upcoming photography project with a "supertalented" collaborator who can't be revealed just yet. Read the full thing here.

Last week, we learned that Ocean had penned the foreword for a new limited edition book on A24's Oscar-winning Moonlight.

8 x 11 in. / 224 pages
- Forward by Frank Ocean
- Essay by Hilton Als
- Academy Award Acceptance speeches

— A24 (@A24) September 26, 2019

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