With only a few days away from what can be the biggest night of his career, Frank Ocean covers New York Times Magazine leading up to GRAMMY Weekend.
This in-depth interview takes a look into a day in the life of Ocean, but gets very little quotes from the singer/songwriter. The usually reserved Def Jam artist keeps it low in this story that includes color from Ocean and his managers Chris and Kelly Clancy.
“Here’s what I think about music and journalism: The most important thing is to just press play.” Ocean told The Times. “All in all, I just don’t trust journalists — and I don’t think it’s a good practice for me to trust journalists.”
The accomplished songwriter opened up about his beginnings in the music industry and interestingly enough, his conflicts with Def Jam Records. “I had a problem listening to anybody, I had a problem listening to A.-and-R.’s telling me how a song was supposed to sound, or what this artist’s vibe was,” Ocean explained. “I think ultimately the problem with it was that nobody was ready to act on anything, any of the language [of the contract], except the language to keep me in it.”
After Ocean struck out on his own to make the acclaimed mixtape, Nostalgia:Ultra; the Odd Future singer reportedly played hardball with IDJ and label chairman Barry Weiss. “Frank was so bullish and so optimistic and so confident about the album that he was creating that he had his representatives call us up and say that he deserves a lot more money,” Weiss says.
“I don’t believe that I had actually heard anything at that point. But we did something atypical, that most labels I don’t think would do. We stepped up. We wrote the check. Virtually album-unheard, sight-unseen, we believed so much in this guy that we actually wrote the check.” Weiss refused to answer if he gave Ocean’s camp $1,000,000 as the singer has claimed in the past.
Read the full interview right here.
Photo: Ryan McGinley