On Wednesday, January 10, the world (including myself) was taken by surprise when GQ published an article called, “Frank Ocean is Peerless.”
In December, GQ writers, Emmett Cruddas and Vegyn had the opportunity to interview urban contemporary artist, Frank Ocean on a variety of topics from music, to inspirations, to misconceptions; and this past week we were able to become apart of that conversation.
Now to be writing about recent Frank Ocean news is nearly incomprehensible for me, as he is not one to necessarily share the personal accounts of his life. It was only just recent that he decided to make his Instagram public, and Frank discusses his reason for doing so within the interview. This additional publicized exposition is just what Frank Ocean fans, like myself, have been longing for as a means to stay connected with the beloved artist.
I really enjoyed the GQ article, and probably re-read it at least 10 times. The questions throughout the interview were very well-executed, and the responses were works of art in their own. I’ve always been mesmerized by the way Frank Ocean effortlessly crafts his words together. That, with the addition of a serene beat, is what embodies his sensational music that we all know and love.
The feedback Ocean gave that struck me the most was when he was asked,
“…do you think there’s any misconceptions people might have about you that you’re trying to confront?”
His response was,
“I feel like between the numbers of zero to ten, in between every number there’s infinity, you know? I would describe a person as the space between the symbols, beyond the language. That dissonance—the word being a big container for what I was feeling…the way I was seen was not even close to correct. It’s still not correct, either.”
I dwelled on this part of the interview the longest, as I tried to think to myself what sort of perception I have of Frank Ocean. It was a hard question to consider, as I’ve never really gone too much out of my way to wrap my head around the person he truly is, aside from the person that he is through his music. He’s always kept a low profile, and that’s a trait that I’ve grown to admire about him. However when I considered this, I began to think a lot about the power music has to influence us, and the overall connection that we are able to make with artists simply through the lyrics and the sounds.
Without a doubt, Frank Ocean has made an exceptional impact on my life, and that’s without me even knowing exactly who he is; that’s the capability music withholds. It’s like this brilliant, universal energy that we are all able to sense and understand, without ever feeling obligated to have to grasp what’s underneath.
In a way, this idea is similar to Ocean’s response when he mentioned there being “space between the symbols, beyond the language.” Music is the “numbers,” and the way it makes us feel is the infinity in between each number. I feel like the things that hold no capacity are what move us the most- the same way music and the artists behind it have the ability to do.
With that being said, it’s clear that music as a whole is everlasting, regardless of any dissonance between artists and their listeners. Frank Ocean makes mention of this gap between himself and his audience, giving reasoning as to why he wanted to engage more with the virtual world.
However, even without this interview and with his Instagram on private, he was still able to contribute to millions of people’s infinities, and for that, he will forever be timeless.