Zane Lowe, currently of Beats 1 and formerly of BBC Radio 1, has a grand tradition of long, strong interviews. You've either seen or quoted his interviews with Kanye West, Eminem, Jay Z, Drake. And now he seems to have secured one of the biggest gets in the music biz: Frank Ocean, who hasn't given a major interview in more than three years, since his Oyster magazine cover story. (His last interview before that? A talk with Zane Lowe in February 2013.)
The Fader noticed that a recent Evening Standard profile of Lowe led with an interesting story. "None of the world’s panting media were able to secure an interview," the author says of Frank Ocean and his double-surprise Endless/Blonde drop. "No one except Zane Lowe."
The idea that a major Frank Ocean interview is coming is tantalizing, but equally interesting is how it went down. Lowe says Frocean "trusts me enough to get on FaceTime," which led to an opportunity to converse in person in Tokyo:
“Deciding within a few hours to jump on a plane for Tokyo to interview Frank Ocean, and getting the go-ahead from him by text—‘Yeah, do it, get on a plane’—and that’s all we have: we don’t have a time, we don’t have a location and there’s a freedom in that which makes it incredibly exciting to be working in this modern framework.”
It's still unclear if we'll see or hear the interview, with Lowe wondering aloud:
“But if [that interview] doesn’t work and it’s not coming together, there’s that moment where you have to ask yourself: ‘How badly do you want to deliver this for Frank, and for the audience? And is this going to be the best way to do both?’"
Listen to the Back of the Class podcast talk Frank Ocean at the 1:55 mark in the episode below: