Frank Ocean is the most elusive pop star of current times that we have ever encountered. In a full length interview with New York Times‘ Jon Caramanica, Ocean delves into a life that we knew little about formerly. Following his 2012 debut, Channel Orange, Ocean took a four year hiatus with little more than paparazzi photos and a few key features living completely off the media grid. The four year break was fruitful though, in August Ocean released two projects, Endless and Blonde, that immeditely soared to the top of the charts and cemented Ocean’s hold on the pop/R&B genre. He opens up about this struggles with management and what he did while he was gone sharing that he hasn’t been in true love since 2012.
We’ve picked five of the most interesting quotes from this illuminating interview with the guarded crooner.
On the beginning of his hiatus:
NYT: There’s a fine line between a sane escape and running away. Did you feel you were on one side or the other of that?
Ocean: I never thought about it like that. I always thought about it like, if your house is on fire, you need to get out of the house.
On his dating life:
NYT: Has dating been difficult for you in this period of increased celebrity?
Ocean: 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. There’s no, like, shame or self-loathing. There’s no, you know, crisis.
On his Blonde vocals:
NYT: Are they always multiple points of view, or are they multiple Franks interrupting each other to be heard?
Ocean: It’s the same thing — to me — because my point of view from one emotional state to another is a different point of view. Sometimes I want to talk on a song and be angry, because I am angry. Then there’s always a part of me that remembers that this record lives past my being angry, and so do I really want to be angry about that? Is that feeling going to have longevity?
On the future of his music now that his management has changed:
“Because I’m not in a record deal, I don’t have to operate in an album format,” he said. “I can operate in half-a-song format.”
On the future of his career as an artist:
Or he might devote less time to music. “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,” he said. “It’s more interesting for me to figure out how to be superior in areas where I’m naïve, where I’m a novice.”
Read the full feature here.