Buddy Ross, Frank Ocean‘s touring keyboardist and collaborator, has spoken about working with the R&B musician, specifically on recent albums ‘Blonde’ and ‘Endless’.
Ocean released his long-awaited second studio album ‘Blonde’ – stylised on its cover art as ‘Blond’ – last week (August 20) after over four years since the arrival of his debut, ‘Channel Orange’. ‘Blonde’ was preceded by a visual album, ‘Endless’, which streamed on Apple Music in the days prior.
Ross, who has worked with the likes of Haim and Unknown Mortal Orchestra, told Pitchfork that he first starting playing live with Ocean in 2012, just before the release of ‘Channel Orange’, and “had no idea who he was at the time”.
On ‘Blonde’, Ross went on to say: “It’s been a four-year process… I had no idea what I was going to be on until the record came out. So more than anybody, I was just waiting and anticipating the release of this so much. I knew I was hopefully going to be a part of it, but I was also just excited to hear all the little bits and pieces I had heard over the years finally come together.”
“I kind of gave up on ever holding onto anything, because I just knew that it was out of my control,” Ross said. “I knew that when it did it would be a sweet surprise. I had no clue…. I don’t think [Ocean] wanted to let people have full context. He’s like a collage artist in a way. We were all these bits and pieces that he’d send off to do our thing on. But we’d never see him putting it together.”
Ross also stated that he “feel[s] like all his fans” when it comes to working with the R&B performer: “He’s very mysterious. It’s rad to be part of something that’s so fresh and I almost feel disconnected from it in a way, because I’ve never been a part of something where I was brought in for a couple of hours to try some things and then leave and have no idea—to not remember what I even played on.”
On their latest interaction, Ross said: “I text him sometimes. I just told him how proud I was of the record, for him.”
‘Blonde’ is currently Number One in both the UK and US album charts. You can stream the album below, via Apple Music.