12 Essential Frank Ocean Interviews

He may not talk to the press too often, but when he does, Frank makes it count.

Frank Ocean
P&P Original

Image via Jonathan F

Frank Ocean

We often think of Frank Ocean as music's most reclusive star. But for a recluse, he's piled up a fair amount of interviews over the years. Granted, channel ORANGE Frank was a little more forthcoming and less disenchanted with the media. It's an interesting timeline—you can see his interest in conventional interviews start to wane as the music gets bigger and bigger, until he dropped off the map completely in the lead-up to Blonde. Until recently, the only times we saw Frank were by chance: a White House interview here, a photo essay there. 

Yet while the press has slowed, Frank took pains to make sure everything he does do stands out online, as illustrated by a recently revealed 2011 interview, or his conversation with Timothée Chalamet. Here are 12 essential Frank Ocean interviews, designed to represent the full gamut of his career. 

Who is Frank Ocean?

Frank Ocean

Frank Ocean: Cruise Control

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BBC Sound of 2012

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Frank Ocean Can Fly

Frank Ocean Performing

Angie Martinez & Frank Ocean on Hot97

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Frank Ocean is Finally Free, Mystery Intact

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2016 White House State Dinner

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Frank Ocean's spontaneous decision to wear Vans to the White House state dinner sparked his first interview in quite a few years. He had dropped Endless and Blonde a few months prior, and had not spoken in public about either album. But then: a White House correspondent caught sight of the singer's fitted suit subtly paired with a pair of slip-ons, and called out as Frank made his way through the press corps. Shockingly, Frank obliged and gave a short interview to the stupefied journalist. When asked about the Vans, Ocean defended his style by responding, "You can't think, you gotta just do things."

As the interview went on, Frank said he was looking forward to asking Obama if he had fun these past eight years, and gracefully took control of the interview when asked if he would be supporting for Hillary Clinton. The election was a month away, and Frank replied, "We're running out of time I think, might have to catch you in four years." Was he talking about supporting Hillary? Releasing new music? The beauty of Frank Ocean and his effortless flow once again left us in suspense.

Question in the Form of An Answer: Frank Ocean

Frank Ocean

Leaked 'Boys Don't Cry' interview

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On Channel Orange, Meeting Odd Future, and His Tumblr Letter

This is a photo of Frank Ocean.

Soul Caliber

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Zane Lowe BBC Radio 1 Interview

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2014 Met Gala Pre-Show

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On the night of the 2014 Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Ocean spoke to established fashion icon André Leon Talley. It's a short one, but it's a great moment between two giants. When Talley asks him about the excitement of making it this far, Frank replies he just wanted to survive, "and get to a place where I can do what I love for a living."

The interview gets cut short when Frank admits he has to meet his mother at the table, to Talley's delight. As they wrap up the interview Talley enthusiastically exclaims how beautiful the decision to bring his mother was to a beaming Frank. 

Frank Ocean at BRIT Awards

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After winning International Male Solo Artist at the 2013 BRIT Awards, Frank Ocean spoke about how it felt to win, holding onto his skydiving analogy. Ocean tells the reporter that winning "feels like skydiving" and the moment just before his name was announced felt like being "at the door when you're about to jump" and it being a "glorious" fall.

In true songwriter fashion,  Frank paints an image of expression with his carefully thought-out responses while still keeping the interview lighthearted and fun.