Has Frank Ocean dropped his new album yet? No, but he’s hard at work on it, according to producer Malay, who was one of the architects behind Ocean’s last album, 2012 release Channel Orange. In a new interview with Pitchfork, Malay talks about Ocean’s new album, as well as one of the other notable recent projects he worked on, Zayn’s Mind of Mine.
In comparing the way Ocean is working on his new album to Channel Orange, Malay describes a much more relaxed atmosphere this time around. While they spent 30 days recording in-studio vocal takes for “Pyramids,” this time, Malay says, “A lot of the stuff on this new album was done with a handheld mic sitting in the control room. Frank’s exploring different vibes completely on this album. I wouldn’t say it’s vocally looser but just his mentality; it doesn’t seem as meticulous at certain times.”
On the big question of when Frank Ocean’s new album will be released, Malay says, “I always tell people: When he’s ready, the world is gonna get it. It could be tomorrow… well not tomorrow but maybe a month [laughs]. We’ve all been working hard. He’s been working super hard. I feel like he’s working harder than he’s ever worked in his life. I’m excited for everyone to hear it. I think people are going to be pleasantly surprised, for sure.”
The full interview is well worth reading, breaking down how Malay approaches working with artists as diverse as Miguel, Vic Mensa, Alessia Cara, and Raury, his now signature sound, and the challenges of working with a pop megastar like Zayn. Read it here.