Frank Ocean Says He Recorded 50 Versions Of “White Ferrari” When Making ‘Blonde’
After releasing Blonde and Endless earlier this summer, Frank Ocean has largely been flying under the radar, save the brief interview he gave at the final Obama White House State Dinner. Now, the singer has broken his silence in a recent interview with the New York Times, where him and writer Jon Caramanica cover a variety of subjects like his nomadic lifestyle, his decision to not participate in the Grammys and his split from Def Jam. They also talk about the songwriting process behind Blonde, particularly how the LP was ever-evolving and mutating.
“When I was making the record, there was 50 versions of ‘White Ferrari,'” Ocean revealed. “I have a 15-year-old little brother, and he heard one of the versions, and he’s like, ‘You gotta put that one out, that’s the one.’ And I was like, ‘Naw, that’s not the version,’ because it didn’t give me peace yet.”
Take a look at some of the other highlights from the interview below.
On fame and moving from LA to London: “It started to weigh on me that I was responsible for the moves that had made me successful, but I wasn’t reaping the lion’s share of the profits, and that was problematic for me…I had, in the midst of all of this, this feeling of isolation. Within my circle, there was a lot of places I thought I could turn that I felt like I couldn’t turn to anymore.”
On the Grammys: “I think the infrastructure of the awarding system and the nomination system and screening system is dated. I’d rather this be my Colin Kaepernick moment for the Grammys than sit there in the audience.”
On his split from Def Jam: “With this record in particular, I wanted to feel like I won before the record came out, and I did, and so it took a lot pressure off of me about how the record even would perform after the fact. Once the goal is met, everything else is lagniappe. It’s not essential for me to have a big debut week, it’s not essential for me to have big radio records.”
On writing “Self Control”: “That was written about someone who I was actually in a relationship with, who wasn’t an unrequited situation…It was mutual, it was just we couldn’t really relate. We weren’t really on the same wavelength.”
Read the full profile here, and watch his video for “Nikes” below.