With two Grammy Awards in hand, Frank Ocean is not resting on his Channel Orange laurels. Nope, he’s already nearly a dozen songs into his follow-up and has plans to get into the studio with Danger Mouse … as soon as he gets back from a well-deserved exotic vacation.
Speaking to BBC Radio 1’s Zane Lowe on Tuesday, Ocean said he’s “Like 10,11 songs into this next thing. It’s another cohesive thing bordering on a concept record again.” The usually soft-spoken, reticent Ocean was in good spirits, laughing along with Lowe and saying his Grammy wins were “quite the rollercoaster … I was pretty stoked,” admitting that he would have “screamed in my highest note” if his name had been called for Record of the Year, which was presented to Gotye by their mutual idol, Prince.
Ocean explained that the new, as-yet-untitled disc might take off from a moment at the end of Orange. “There’s ’Golden Girl’ and it’s this beach scene and I kind of want to extend that feeling into the next record,” he said. “I’m going to Bora Bora when I get back … I put a studio in my house, but it’s all in road cases. I’m going to take it all to Bora Bora and work for a few weeks.”
The upcoming trip to French Polynesia is a change from what Ocean said in a recent lengthy New York Times Magazine profile, in which he claimed he was moving to Shanghai for two years to write new music and finish his novel.
Before he punches his passport, though, Ocean has been grinding away on his second major-label album. “I was in the studio with Pharrell just yesterday,” he said of the producer who worked on the Orange song “Sweet Life.”
“Tyler [The Creator] come by and we were just playing records … I’m getting in with Danger Mouse when I get back to the States,” said Ocean, who explained that he writes songs only in the studio and in short stretches when inspiration hits.
“You have to live. I never could really work well just being in the studio day-after-day every day. I can go in the studio for months straight, but I gotta spend some months out in the world.” He also shouted out British singer King Krule, whose voice he said he loves when asked about if the new effort might have more high-profile guest spots than Orange.
“Usually when I meet these guys if we happen to write something then we do but it’s just cool just feel it out first,” he said. “It has to be right as far as chemistry. I love Tame Impala, Tyler put me on to Tame Impala … Their music has that freedom to it, it’s wicked.”
Ocean is in England for Wednesday night’s (February 20) Brit Awards, where his is nominated for the International Male Solo Artist award. He’s also joined the roster for July’s Wireless Festival in the UK, which will feature sets from Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake, as well as Snoop Dogg, Miguel, Kendrick Lamar and Calvin Harris.
The good news for fans is that Ocean, who has done only a few sporadic shows in support of Orange so far, said he plans to get out this summer and play some dates. “I do want to get out for a few months this year … I have some plans.”