Frank Ocean is the cover star of GQ Magazine’s February issue. The Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter is interviewed by his Blonded Radio co-hosts, Vegyn and Emmett Cruddas, via phone last month. Frank discusses the decision to make his Instagram public, covering songs like Aaliyah’s “At Your Best…” and Aubrey Hepburn’s “Moon River,” moving to New York City, finding inspiration over the past year through photography, and using his influence to get people to vote during midterms by incentivizing with exclusive blonded t-shirts only available to those who voted.
The 31-year-old also reveals his skincare routine, speaks on his personal highlight of 2018, vices, and fashion. Read some excerpts below.
Cruddas: “I wanted to start off by asking you about the gesture of making your Instagram public. I know you don’t do a lot of interviews, but how do you feel about having the opportunity to say what you want to say when you want to say it without being mediated like that?”
Ocean: “I feel like there was dissonance between how I was seen by the audience and where I was actually, so that contributed to the decision to make my Instagram public, for sure. But there’s also the idea of dialogue and discourse and conversation—like theater where the audience can interrupt you versus the television.”
Cruddas: “With regards to reflecting and putting out a more rich tapestry of self-representation, I’m interested in how you use cover songs as part of your repertoire. “Moon River” was the one release this year, and they’ve always figured as part of your work, going way back to the Coldplay song [“Strawberry Swing”]. What’s your method for interacting with a song people may already have an idea of—with other people’s music?”
Ocean: “Nowadays, I have to live with the song for a bit and I have to see if it’s worthwhile to interpret it first. To see what I can do with it, where I can insert my voice. In the past, I would just like a song and I wouldn’t think about it as seriously as when I do “Close to You” or “Moon River” or “At Your Best…” It’s much more deliberate than when I was just focused on the rap mixtape approach of taking a beat or flow, swapping the lyrics and performing it. The performance almost being the stream-of-consciousness, in-the-moment thing, whereas now I would much prefer having the song be with me for more time before I have to record it.”
Read the full article over at GQ by clicking here.
Photos by ALASDAIR MCLELLAN for GQ
Previously: Frank Ocean Responds to Cease and Desist Report Over Travis Scott’s “Carousel”