Frank Ocean covers Gayletter Magazine


Issue 10 of Gayletter Magazine features an interview with Frank Ocean as well as a series of portraits by Collier Schorr.

In the interview, Frank lays bare on how he spends his time and why exactly he’s seen as a recluse. It’s one of the most open and comfortable interviews the artist has ever taken part in.

Here are some highlights:

The decision to do more interviews, how did that come about? I always thought that was a misconception. I think the whole idea of me as a recluse is absurd ’cause I’m in the streets like all the time. I’m outside all the time, I’m traveling the world all the time. It’s funny to me that that’s the perception, but I understand what people mean by it in this new paradigm.

I don’t know if it’s terribly calculated, but I’m just trying to put myself more into whatever kind of stream is going on here in culture. I don’t think my feelings about press have anything to do with how times are changing. I think it’s more a feeling.

Is it easier for you to make music on your own, or do you like having collaborators around? It depends what I’m doing. If I’m working on lyrics, I might as well be in a vacuum-sealed container. [Laughs] I just need to be on my own. If I’m working out a vocal performance, I need to be on my own or with my engineer, Caleb. He’s been with me so long that he knows when to just be wallpaper. I’m comfortable with him, so I can sit there and write whatever.

What did you learn from your time writing songs for other people? Hmm, let me think about that. I’ve never been asked that. I learned how to be quicker, if you can believe it. [Laughs] I learned how to be quicker in the studio.

You’ve talked about wanting to study at the New School  —  is that something you still want to do? Yeah, I’d still love to go to school. I’m sure there’s something about adults romanticizing college again, but yeah. Right now I’m just taking French, and you know, honestly, that’s about as much extracurricular as I can deal with.

When you deleted your Twitter a few years ago, a fan online asked you why you did it, and you replied with one word: intuition. What does that word mean to you? You don’t have anywhere near as much control as you think you have, right? At a lot of crossroads you don’t know which way is which. I think in so many instances, in my experience, intuition has been all I’ve had to go off of. And it’s got such a good success rate.

The books featured in the photo spread include the following:

  • Black Male, Representations of Masculinity in Contemporary American Art by Thelma Golden

  • Strange Fruit by Lillian Smith

  • Midnight Cowboy by James Leo Herlihy

  • City and The Piller by Gore Vidal

  • Foucault Live by Michel Foucault