Alex G Opens Up About Working With Frank Ocean
Posted on 14 October 2016
When Frank Ocean released his visual album Endless in August, Alex G’s name stood out among a list of high-profile collaborators that included James Blake and Jonny Greenwood. The Philadelphia artist played guitar on three tracks: “Rushes,” “Slide on Me,” and “Wither.” He did not, however, appear on the Frank-supplied or ASCAP credits for Blonde. Now, in a new interview with Run for Cover Records, Alex G has finally revealed his involvement on Blonde, as well as how he and Frank started working together, as Stereogum points out. Watch the video interview below, with the Frank discussion beginning at 3:07.
Alex G explains that while he was on tour in the UK, Frank’s manager emailed him asking if he wanted to go to London to record. After recording abroad, he said he’d receive requests “every couple of months” to go to Los Angeles to do more work with Frank. “I don’t know why it happened,” he admits, “but that’s how it happened.” He adds that it was fun and that “Frank was a really cool guy,” although he didn’t speak with him very much.
Next in the video, Alex G reveals that he played on Blonde’s “White Ferrari” and “Self Control.” He explains:
For “Self Control,” [Frank] wrote the chords and he was like, “Can you just play these in a different way?” He, like, wanted me to play them more…soulfully or something? I forget. But then I did that and I did, like, little riffs on top of it. And then there’s an ending part that’s not me in “Self Control.” I just did the beginning chords.
In contrast, Alex G said he did just “the guitar at the end” on “White Ferrari.” According to the ASCAP songwriting credits, Alex G joins Om’Mas Keith, James Blake, Paul McCartney, and John Lennon on “White Ferrari.” (The song interpolates the Beatles’ 1966 track “Here, There and Everywhere.”)
Listen to the Alex G-assisted “Self Control”: