Despite finally unveiling his new album Blonde to high praise at the end of summer, Frank Ocean remains as elusive as ever. In the four years since his stratospheric rise to fame, the singer has rarely surfaced above the radar with his only official appearance being his brief Q&A with press gathered outside the White House during President Obama’s final State Dinner. Until now, that is.

The New York Times has just published a comprehensive profile on Ocean, compiled from interviews collected in the period shortly after the release of Blonde. See below for some of his most illuminating quotes, addressing everything from his creative process, romantic life and his decision to abstain from this year’s Grammy Awards.

He had a hard time adjusting to high-profile celebrity:

“I had, in the midst of all of this, this feeling of isolation…within my circle, there was a lot of places I thought I could turn that I felt like I couldn’t turn to anymore.”

He felt little pressure making Blonde:

“With this record in particular, I wanted to feel like I won before the record came out, and I did, and so it took a lot pressure off of me about how the record even would perform after the fact.”

He didn’t really care about our suffering during the delayed release process:

“I know that once it’s out, it’s out forever, so I’m not really tripping on how long it’s taking.”

He doesn’t regret passing over the Grammys at all:

“That institution certainly has nostalgic importance…It just doesn’t seem to be representing very well for people who come from where I come from, and hold down what I hold down.”

He would love to be even more anonymous:

“Super-envious of the fact that Daft Punk can wear robot helmets and be one of the most famous bands in the world, while also understanding that will never be my situation. It’s too late.”

His dating life is “normal”:

“I think normal would be the word, whatever that word means, which is usually nothing. I’m in a very different place than I was four or five years ago with all that stuff. Different in my relationship with myself, which means everything.”

He wants to do something outside of music in the future:

“I believe that I’m one of the best in the world at what I do, and that’s all I’ve ever wanted to be…it’s more interesting for me to figure out how to be superior in areas where I’m naïve, where I’m a novice.”

Be sure to read the full profile over at The New York Times.

In related music news, we got an up-close and personal look at Odd Future’s Camp Flog Gnaw Festival. Get the scoop right here.

Music Editor
What To Read Next