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Frank Ocean interview – BBC Sound of 2012


what inspires me to make music is I guess I’m just inspired to tell stories and You got to make sure the listener is listening to you and so if you put it in the form of a song oftentimes if the you know if the song is striking enough Then you can really deliver the story you know most effectively while keeping the ear the listener the whole time so you Know I guess it all starts with the stories for me I Do feel more like a visual artist when you’re storytelling is You know your your own experiences and memories and you know personal wisdom and Knowledge, so a Lot of that. I’m gonna pull from that place it comes along with pictures you know and When I’m when I’m trying to make a song Even the form of it even the part that doesn’t have words the parts that don’t have words It’s still you know really trying to make a photograph out of something that you can never see you know like materials that aren’t visible But still trying to make a photograph you know As I future impacted my career um absolutely Absolutely if I’m liberated my thinking and in some ways creative creatively in in a sense of knowing That you can do a lot of it by yourself You know um not just the songs, but just taking control of your whole Movement I Think we all change each other’s paths, you know um I don’t know which which which Lord idea that is in Physics, but I don’t think I Don’t think any of us can live without affecting one another you know um not to be Broad but it’s true. I think I Think I’ve been affected my path has [been] changed and affected by everybody I’ve encountered in my life I don’t know how far my music is taking me socially geographically It’s only taking me to london. [I] had to cancel my paris and amsterdam shows good. I sick. I like London a lot [I] Like the London crowd a lot It was probably three inches between me and the first person in the crowd Sometimes less you know so it was cool as a difference in every crowd that I played so far They’re like It’s hard to put a finger on what it is exactly, but they just differ like in different cities when I played in New Orleans The crowd knew every song – Nostalgia Ultra that was trippy Nostalgia Ultra making that was Was a labor of love it was like Difficult you know to make not Like writing the songs or arranging the songs I mean that had a level of difficulty, [too] but just Piecing together all the resources to do it You know at the level that I wanted to like the quality of record. I wanted to make and not you know not really know how to make beats and not really know how to engineer like that and Um really only being a singer-songwriter at the end of the day you know it was it was difficult that I had a level [II] difficulty but it was It was a process that I appreciated you know so much you know and appreciate so much in retrospect The video director, I work with a lot in the [bill] [elder] ken um [homie]. He’s passionate he’s you know convicted And we kind of we can bump heads occasionally, but because I’m the same way you know um but It’s talented you know and we kind of getting You know flow of working? You know we both get we [one] the video Concept was a I guess inspired by like Japanese cartoons and a little bit of like Afro Samurai [too] and [uh] it was also a great excuse to blow up a car and go to Big sur and You know hang out hillside and just be beautiful Be art like you know just that this just more so than a narrative like just shoot something. I was Beautiful. [I] just looked Look the part Novocaine was yeah, that’s different Novocaine [as] opposed to Swim good had more of a It was like clear what I was trying to do. I was just trying to connect or Articulate visually the feeling of being numb like the feeling of somebody trying to love you, but you can’t feel it like the feeling of the feeling of Wanting to feel something that you can’t feel And so it’s numb. It’s numbing and a lot of things can cause that numbing in the video though it was like some sort of topical anesthetic and a little bit of special effects and There you have it dripper booty in Iraq most people have a hard time predicting Where I might be or what I might be doing if I’m not in the studio like I could be I could be doing you know a mucky form By the beach I could be Doing indoor rock climbing I could be reading um Wikipedia Pages on random information, I could be I could be doing anything ism. There’s a number of things it’s pretty rad to hear Beyonce sing a song of yours or to hear um Jigga or [yay] like rhyme over and [Beyond] a song at Cheer on these are you know some of the heroes of my generation you know so working with them and Even being called out like you know To be on those projects like it wasn’t my doing it wasn’t like I was shopping a song for these projects. It was like they called me to come to the studio and that’s That’s pretty rad [shoe] great on this record this Latest body of work I’ve been doing I think [it] up It succinctly defines me as an artist for you know Where I am right [now] You know and that was the aim just to make something that just represents Where you are at that time you know and I space and time and it does that it’s about the stories like I said, so if I write 14 stories Got I love Then the next step is to get the environment of music around it To best like I guess Envelop the story you know uh in like all kinds of Sonic Goodness Sonic Goodies. [oh] Sonic good good goodies, that’s a weird word Goodies 2012 and Beyond I mean I don’t know I’ve been feeling really mortal lately you know I’ve been feeling feeling really mortal lately and if I could do anything [you] [know] I’m from from today not even looking at it in years but today on it’s just really about Trying to do whatever it is I do At a level of excellence, and that’s that’s really all I’m trying to do while I’m in it You gotta put it’s freezing here cuz it’s cold so that just gives you context for I’m shivering through my answers and [let’s] just slow mode and put that on a discovery channel

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