Frank Ocean seems to be doing pretty well, just in case you were worried. A new profile in the NY Times indicates that he’s been living richly, winning awards, and enjoying some solitude.
If you’re unfamiliar, Frank’s been openly queer for a few years, a rarity in the music world let alone among black artists. He’s been working largely without attention for a long time, and suddenly released a treasure trove of work this summer with “Endless” and “Blonde.”
But he still keeps his privacy closely guarded. Now his people have allowed a reporter to shadow him for a while, uncovering just a hint of his inner life. Apparently Frank was unhappy in LA — a reasonable position — and found it difficult to feel safe or trust people.
Early in his career, he confesses, he would say “yes” to opportunities simply because of how they made him feel — like performing at awards shows — even though he wasn’t sure if he was ready for them.
He’s still seeking some measure of normalcy, and envies Daft Punk’s mysteriousness. He maintains tight control over his music and performances. And he struggled with writer’s block. From the sound of things, his happiest times (or at least his most productive) have been when he wasn’t spending time on being a celebrity — just going out with people, talking to childhood friends, and dating.
Don’t expect to see him at the Grammy’s this year — he’s not interested in taking part in the old awards shows, in part because they’re stacked against black people. Instead, he’s going to take some time and do whatever he feels like.