Frank Ocean gave an extensive interview to The New York Times in which he discusses his art, his personal philosophy and his history before exploding with “Channel Orange” last year. (When he first got to LA he worked “as a ‘sandwich artist’ at Subway, at Fatburger, Kinko’s, AT&T, and as a claims processor at Allstate, among other jobs.”)
But perhaps the most intriguing tidbit is the revelation that after the Grammys Ocean intends to move to Shanghai for two years and, among other things, write a novel. From The Times:
Ocean told me he was headed to Shanghai after the Grammys with his equipment in tow, some new recordings already in hand, and plans to write “in remote locations for the next two years.” In previous interviews he mentioned also wanting to write a book. “I’ve started writing the book,” he told me. “You can say that. It’s fiction, and it’s about brothers. That’s all I’m going to say.”
He talked about the catharsis of opening up last summer about his broken heart over a relationship with a man, and on finding inspiration for his future projects he said, “I don’t worry about where [the inspiration] will come from. I think even with that cured, there’s still so much to pull from.” Let’s hope so, lest he turn out like Brian two years from now:
But more than anything the interview reinforces the perception that Ocean has the soul of a true artist. “Art’s everything we hope life would be, a lot of times. That’s what I get from it. And that’s what I’ve tried to do. In the storytelling and the sonics and everything. That’s what I’ve tried to do, because I just think that’s the purpose of art. Push, you know?”
Sounds like a novelist in the making to me.