Frank Dukes talks "Chanel" and working with Frank Ocean on Zane Lowe
Producer and beat-maker Frank Dukes sat down with Zane Lowe on Beats1 this afternoon to discuss his exciting young career including his work on blonded Radio singles "Chanel," "Biking," and "Lens."
Listen to the Frank Ocean-relevant portion of the interview above or check out the transcript below.
Zane Lowe: I wan't to talk about Frank.
Frank Dukes: Okay
ZL: Speaking of deliberate.
FD: Speaking of elusive.
ZL: Elusive and deliberate and not wanting anyone to know the process and, again, we respect that. So let's focus on the specific. One of my favorite songs of 2017, which is "Chanel." Which again is one of those moments a la like, you know, decided to release a song as an individual moment and see where it sat in the overall. And it sits beautifully as one of the greatest Frank songs of all time. So what can you tell us about that song without necessarily getting a text from Frank later saying "What?"
FD: I think Jaramihad started the idea first and Frank had brought me in. We had just met recently and he just told me to come through and play me some records. He was like, "You wanna fuck around with some of these?" I went in on it and I think it came out a few days later. To me it was a great moment because I'm such a fan of Frank, like everyone. It's one of those things. Frank is so fucking good that you're just like, when you're there with him you're just like, "Cool, let me just make sure I don't fuck this up."
ZL: That's so true. When you listen as a fan you're drawn into this place—as a singer, just as a singer. Leave alone as a creative, as someone who's across so many different aspects of his vision, but can we just focus on him as a singer for a second because I think people get swept up in the visual, the art, the overall thing...
FD: He's incredible.
ZL: He takes you as a listener to a place where you feel something that most singers can't make you feel.
FD: Exactly, exactly man. To me it's like he's Donny Hathaway. He's like Marvin Gaye. He's like that for our era.
ZL: So from that moment, that first experience that you had with with Frank, it let to more and more came to blonded Radio. We kept getting these collaborations that you guys were doing. It felt like you said, and correct me if I'm wrong, but you'd finish them and they'd just come out.
FD: Yea, it happened really kind of quickly. Caught a little wave and the music came.
ZL: It must be, for you who has seen cuts then you wait six months for everyone to get their fingerprints on it and it comes back and "does it sound recognizable." To be in a process where you can work so direct with an artist and the artist distributes direct to fans untouched like that...
FD: That's everything to me. I think that's where music is going and for me, that's the most exciting part of working with anyone at this point. Being there with them and building something together.