Frank Ocean claims the runner-up spot on the BBC Sound of 2012 list of emerging stars, which includes Azealia Banks and A$AP Rocky. During an interview in Los Angeles where he resides, the 24-year-old singer-songwriter spoke about Odd Future’s impact on his career, working with Beyoncé, Jay-Z, and Kanye West, his hobbies, and highly-anticipated next album.
On Odd Future’s influence: “They’ve liberated my thinking in some ways—creatively in a sense of knowing that you can do a lot of it by yourself, not just the songs, but taking control of your whole movement.”
On his debut Nostalgia, Ultra: “Making that was a labor of love. It was difficult to piece together all the resources at the quality of record I wanted to make. It’s a process I appreciate so much in retrospect.”
On how he spends his free time: “I could be doing monkey form by the beach, I could be doing indoor rock climbing, I could be reading Wikipedia pages on random information.”
On working with Beyoncé, Jay-Z, and Kanye West: “It’s pretty rad to hear Beyoncé sing a song of yours or to hear Jigga, ‘Ye rhyme over and be on a song that you’re on. These are some of the heroes of my generation, so even being called out to be on those projects… It wasn’t like I was shopping a song for these projects. They called me to come to the studio and that’s pretty rad.”
On his new album, due this spring: “It succinctly defines me as an artist for where I am right now and that was the aim, just to make something that represents where you are at that time. It’s about the stories. If I write 14 stories that I love, then the next step is to get the environment of music around it to best envelop the story and all kinds of sonic goodness—sonic goodies.”
On his goals: “I’ve been feeling really mortal lately. If I could do anything from today on, it would be doing whatever it is that I do at a level of excellence. That’s all I’m really trying to do while I’m here.”
Watch the entire interview below.