In His Words; FRANK OCEAN on records he keeps going back to

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Frank Ocean

 

“Certainly for [Aaliyah’s] “At Your Best…,” I was at a party and it came on, and I had to sing it. And I didn’t connect it to ATL, with T.I. and Lauren London. I watched that movie a lot for some reason when I was 18 and first moved to L.A. I think because it reminded me of home, and that song played when T.I. had the El Camino and first kissed New New, but I didn’t connect it when I was at that party years later that it was something from nostalgia. I started living with it, thinking about how I could do it justice.

With “Close to You,” it was a similar thing, only without the nostalgia. I was living in a hotel, and I remember listening to it and being really nailed to the floor by Stevie Wonder’s interpretation of it. That version moved into my favorite-songs-of-all-time list, right there with Prince’s “When You Were Mine.” I don’t know what creates that feeling of “I have to sing this song.”

“With “Moon River,” though, that was more random. Someone asked me to sing it, and that was the only reason I listened to it. People ask me to do a lot of things I don’t do [laughs], but when I listened to it, it was something that I wanted to do because I thought the song was small and beautiful and neat. It’s the “ocean in the drop” idea, all these feelings inside this small thing. Living with it, listening to the many versions, thinking about who I would work on it with and what I would go for in interpreting it. Of the covers I’ve done, “At Your Best…” and “Moon River” are my favorites.

“From tour, by the time it came around to playing “Close to You” live, I had even more time with it: There are songs you find your way through after you’ve played it a few times. Sometimes you lose something after being familiar with it, something in your voice is different. Being in front of an audience and that still being new and scary to me, the adrenaline and everything mixed together didn’t make it feel like this stale thing I’d done a million times. It felt charged with a special energy.”

 

FRANK OCEAN

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the quote comes from the  Emmett Cruddas & Vegyn article for GQ.

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you can find more inspiring artist quotes in the gtc archives

 

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