Edit
Frank Ocean Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Trade Mark (3) | Trivia (64) | Personal Quotes (72)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 28 October 1987New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Birth NameChristopher Breaux
Nickname Lonny
Height 5' 10" (1.78 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Ocean was born Christopher "Lonny" Breaux in Long Beach, California. When he was around 5 years old, he and his family moved to New Orleans, Louisiana. He grew up around its local jazz scene and listened to his mother's CDs on her car stereo, including albums by Céline Dion, Anita Baker, and "The Phantom of the Opera" soundtrack. As a teenager, he did neighborhood chores and saved up money to rent studio time. He enrolled in the University of New Orleans and moved into its dormitory in 2005.

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit Ocean's hometown of New Orleans and his recording facility, which was looted and destroyed by floodwater. To continue recording music, he moved to Los Angeles and intended to stay for six weeks. However, after acclimating himself with music industry circles, Ocean planned to stay longer and develop his music career. He recorded demos at a friend's studio and shopped them around Los Angeles. After getting a songwriting deal, he started working with other record producers and writing songs for artists such as Justin Bieber, John Legend, Damienn Jones and Brandy Norwood.

After meeting them in 2009 through networking, Ocean joined the Los Angeles-based hip hop collective OFWGKTA, also known as Odd Future. His friendship with Odd Future member 'Tyler The Creator' reinvigorated Ocean's songwriting. In late 2009, he met Christopher Stewart, who helped him sign a contract with Def Jam Recordings as a solo artist, though he was initially unable to build a relationship with the company. In 2010, through a legal website, he changed his name from Christopher Breaux to Christopher Francis William Ocean, which was inspired partly by the 1960 film Ocean's Eleven (1960).

On February 18, 2011, Ocean released his first mixtape, Nostalgia, Ultra, to critical acclaim. The mixtape focuses on interpersonal relationships, personal reflection and social commentary. In April 2011, Ocean stated that his relationship with Def Jam strengthened since the release of the mixtape.

Ocean first appeared in the 'Tyler The Creator' music video for the single "She", from Tyler's second studio album Goblin. His first performance was in collaboration with Odd Future at the 2011 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, where he later joined them for their first tour across the east coast of the United States. On May 19, 2011 Ocean's record label Def Jam announced its plans to re-release Nostalgia, Ultra as an EP. The single "Novacane" was released to iTunes in May 2011, and the EP originally was set to be released the next month, but was delayed. In June 2011, Ocean revealed that he would be working on the upcoming Kanye West and Jay-Z collaborative album, Watch the Throne. Ocean co-wrote and featured on two tracks: "No Church in the Wild" and "Made in America".

On July 28, 2011, a song titled "Thinkin About You", leaked on the internet. It was later revealed the song was a reference track, written by Ocean, for Roc Nation artist Bridget Kelly's debut studio album. Kelly renamed the song "Thinking About Forever". In September 2011, a music video directed by High5Collective for Ocean's version was released, yet the song still appeared on Kelly's debut EP Every Girl. In March 2012, a re-mastered version of "Thinkin About You" leaked, intended to be a single. Ocean released the cover art for his debut studio album's lead single, titled "Thinkin Bout You", revealing the song would be released to digital retailers on April 10.

On June 8, 2012, a single from the album Channel Orange, entitled "Pyramids", was made available for download on Ocean's Tumblr blog. On July 4, 2012, Ocean published an open letter on his Tumblr blog recounting unrequited feelings he had for another young man when he was 19 years old, citing it as his first true love. He used the blog to thank the man for his influence, and also thanked his mother and other friends. Members of the hip hop industry generally responded positively to the announcement. On July 10, 2012, Ocean made his debut television performance with "Bad Religion" on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (2009). The same day, Ocean released his album one week ahead of schedule for digital download on iTunes and free streaming on his Tumblr blog. All other forms of distribution for the album were available on July 17, 2012. On September 6, 2012, Frank Ocean performed an acoustic version of his Channel Orange single, "Thinkin Bout You", at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards (2012) which was held at the Staples Center arena at L.A. Live in Downtown Los Angeles. _2014 Frank Ocean Co-produced and wrote "Cinderella" a song for recording artist Damienn Jones.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: ave_smartguy_87@yahoo.com

Trade Mark (3)

Red and white striped headband
Lyrics dealing with themes of love, longing, misgiving, and nostalgia
Compositions that are often midtempo and feature unconventional melodies

Trivia (64)

Close friends with Tyler the Creator.
Has one brother and one sister.
Finished second place in BBC's Sound of 2012 poll (December 2011).
Stated that the artist he would like to collaborate with most is Céline Dion.
Lists his personal hobbies as Kung Fu and Tai Chi.
Named as GQ Magazine's Rookie of The Year for 2011.
Plays the electronic keyboard.
Hit 1,000,000 followers on Twitter on July 8, 2012.
Nominated for three MTV Video Music Awards: Best Male Video, Best New Artist, and Best Direction for "Swim Good". (July 31, 2012).
The Shawshank Redemption (1994) is his favorite film.
Ranked at #8 on GQ's The 50 Most Stylish Men In Los Angeles Right Now (2012).
Was described as America's Next President in L'uomo Vogue.
Titled his debut album, Channel Orange, as a reference to the neurological phenomenon grapheme-color synesthesia and the color he perceived during the summer he first fell in love.
In the United States, Channel Orange debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200 and sold 131,000 copies in its first week. The majority of its first-week sales were digital copies from iTunes, while approximately 3,000 of the sales were physical copies.
In the United Kingdom, Channel Orange debuted at #2 on the UK Albums Chart and sold 13,000 copies in its first week. It was the first album there to chart within the top 20 based solely on digital sales.
Everest, his Bernese Mountain Dog, is credited as the executive producer on Channel Orange.
Withdrew from from the Coldplay Mylo Xyloto Tour on which he would have been the opening act during the tour's European leg in August and September. (August 11, 2012).
His self-released mixtape, Nostalgia, Ultra, ranked at #24 on Rolling Stone's 50 Best Albums list, #5 on Time's Top 10 Albums, and #41 on Spin's 50 Best Albums list. The album was also praised by The New York Times and Pitchfork Media.
Attributed the biggest spike in social commentary during the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards (2012). His performance of "Thinkin Bout You" was praised by critics and celebrities, including Lady Gaga, Zoe Saldana, and Maxwell. The following week the song went from #78 to #39 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it the first Top 40 song of Ocean's career.
Legally changed his name to Christopher Francis Ocean inspired by Frank Sinatra and Ocean's Eleven (1960).
His love of video games shines on Channel Orange's opening track as he uses the original Sony Playstation start up music.
The title Channel Orange alludes to his first time falling in love, as it was summer and he perceived everything to be orange.
A large majority of Channel Orange was created in California. recorded most of the album at EastWest Studio in Hollywood, near where he was renting a home at the time, the studio complex featured recording equipment from the 1960s. Other recording locations included Henson Recording Studios and the Record Plant in Hollywood, Westlake Recording Studios and Studio for the Talented & Gifted in Los Angeles, Manhattan Sound Recording in New York City, and San Ysidro in Beverly Hills.
Listened to music by Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and Jimi Hendrix to either set a mood or use as musical references for Channel Orange.
His album Channel Orange samples contain dialogue from movies. "Lost" contains dialogue from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998). "Pink Matter" contains an audio clip from The Last Dragon (1985).
Describes himself as a perfectionist.
His hero is his mother.
The best piece of advice he has ever been given is "Pay your taxes".
Celebrated his 24th birthday by going mountain hiking with his brother and mother.
Has sold over one thousand tracks to a number of international recording artists.
Was named one of Billboard's 140 Most Influential Tweeters in the Music Business. The publication called his tweets cryptic, soulful, intelligent and wry. (2012).
His manager is Kelly Clancy.
Was ranked #8 on Ask Men's Top 49 Most Influential Men of 2012.
His song "Thinkin Bout You" set a radio record on the Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop airplay tally, it completed the longest climb to the top 10 in the chart's 19-year history; it skipped #12-#10 in its 25th week. After lingering in the 30s from April to July, the song fell off the list before re-entering in August. (October 18, 2012).
Stated that if he wasn't in the music industry that he would be doing something with his love for automobiles.
Celebrated his 25th birthday in Hawaii.
Ranked at #2 on 25 Crushable Guys Under 25 For 2012, a yearly scientific endeavor that frequently spots the up-and-coming stars from movies, TV, and music.
Was awarded the Best International Urban Video award at the 2012 UK Music Video Awards for "Novacane". (November 8, 2012).
Was named one of GQ Magazine's Men of the Year for 2012.
Was named one of the Best Songwriters of the 2000's by VIBE in 2012.
Was named VIBE's Man of the Year for 2012.
Nominated for six Grammys: Album of the Year and Best Urban Contemporary Album for Channel Orange, Best New Artist, Record of the Year for "Thinkin Bout You", Best Rap/Sung Collaboration and Best Short Form Video for "No Church In The Wild" with Jay-Z and Kanye West. (December 6, 2012).
Was named mtvU's Man of the Year for 2012.
Was ranked at #4 on the Top 10 Inspiring Stars of the Year by E Online. (2012).
His vocal range is described as "a baritone, with tenor moments".
Ranked at #25 on GQ's 25 Most Stylish Men of 2012.
Was listed in People Magazine's annual Sexiest Man Alive issue under the category "Sexy At Every Age", he was the magazine's example for a 25 year old (2012).
Was listed on Forbes Top 30 Under 30 list in music. (2012).
Was ranked as the #3 Man of the Year by Out magazine, coming in after Anderson Cooper and Zachary Quinto. (2012).
While recording Channel Orange, he put up posters of Pink Floyd and Bruce Lee for inspiration.
Worked as a "sandwich artist" at Subway, at Fatburger, Kinko's, AT&T, and as a claims processor at Allstate, among other jobs.
Draws on inspiration from Wes Anderson films.
Channel Orange was named the best album of 2012 by The A.V. Club, Billboard, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune, Consequence of Sound, Entertainment Weekly, The Guardian, Los Angeles Times, musicOMH, The Sydney Morning Herald Now, Paste, PopMatters, Slant Magazine, Spin, The Washington Post, and Jon Pareles of The New York Times. The album was also ranked #2 by Allmusic, Ann Powers, BBC, Complex, Exclaim!, Filter, Mojo, Pitchfork Media, and Rolling Stone, #3 by Clash, Jim DeRogatis, NME, State, and Time, and #5 by Uncut. The album was named "Album of the Year" by HMV's Poll of Polls, an annual survey of UK critics and music writers from national print and online publications. Metacritic cited it as both the "top-ranked" and "best-reviewed major album" of 2012, as well as "one of the best-reviewed albums of the past decade".
Won two awards at the The 55th Annual Grammy Awards (2013): Best Urban Contemporary Album for Channel Orange and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for his work on Jay-Z and Kanye West song "No Church in the Wild". (February 10, 2013).
Won International Male Solo Artist at the 2013 BRIT Awards. (February 20, 2013).
Was ranked at #10 on Out's 2013 Power List.
One of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World. (2013).
Named the 2013 Person of the Year by The Webby Awards for his truly remarkable, impactful year as both a musician and cultural icon, showing a deep understanding of the Internet as a communicative tool for social change that helped launch a wave of support, understanding and conversation that continues to swell online and offline to this very day.
Tied for Outstanding Music Artist with Adam Lambert at the 2013 GLAAD Media Awards; Ocean was honored for his Channel Orange album and Lambert was honored for Trespassing. (May 11, 2013).
Wrote the song "Wiseman" for Django Unchained (2012).
His favorite Aretha Franklin song is "Daydreaming".
Appeared on The Root 100 list, which focuses on African-American politics, culture and society, recently released its list of the 100 most important black influences between the ages of 25 and 45.
Appeared on The Independent's International Pink List, a list that celebrates most influential lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans gender people. (2013).
Ranked at #14 on GQ's 25 Most Stylish Men of 2013.

Personal Quotes (72)

Four summers ago, I met somebody. I was nineteen years old. He was too. We spent that summer, and the summer after, together. Everyday almost. And on the days we were together, time would glide. Most of the day I'd see him and his smile, I'd hear his conversation and his silence until it was time to sleep. Sleep I would often share with him. By the time I realized I was in love, it was malignant. It was hopeless. I sat there and told my friend how I felt. I wept as the words left my mouth. I grieved for them, knowing I could never take them back for myself. He patted my back. He said kind things. He did his best, but he wouldn't admit the same. He had to go back inside soon. It was late and his girlfriend was waiting for him upstairs. He wouldn't tell me the truth about his feelings for me for another three years. I felt like I'd only imagined reciprocity for years. Now imagine being thrown from a cliff. No, I wasn't on a cliff, I was still in my car telling myself it was gonna be fine and to take deep breaths. I took the breaths and carried on. I kept up a peculiar friendship with him because I couldn't imagine keeping up my life without him. I struggled to master myself and my emotions. I wasn't always successful. Before writing this I'd told some people my story. I'm sure these people kept me alive, kept me save sincerely, these are the folks I wanna thank from the floor of my heart. Everyone of you knows who you are great humans, probably angels. I don't know what happens now, and that's alright. I don't have any secrets I need kept anymore. There's probably some small shit still, but you know what I mean. I was never alone, as much as I felt like it as much as I still do sometimes. I never was. I don't think I ever could be. Thanks. To my first love. I'm grateful for you. Grateful that even though it wasn't what I hoped for and even though it was never enough, it was. Some things never are and we were. I won't forget you. I won't forget the summer. I'll remember who I was when I met you. Thanks. To my mother, you raised me strong. I know I'm only braved because you were first ... so thank you. All of you. For everything good. I feel like a free man. If I listen closely I can hear the sky falling too.
I'll usually cringe at the R&B label. Because it's like calling it urban and what the fuck is urban music?
My generation just doesn't have the best taste in leadership. And weak leadership means little to no cohesion. If there's no cohesion, there's no real chance for effective protest or politics. Obviously, looking at Occupy Wall Street, there are a few in our bunch who still give a damn enough to rally and shout. This will change once I'm elected President.
[about his sexuality and coming out before the release of his album][It was] about my own sanity and my ability to feel like I'm living a life where. I'm happy when I wake up in the morning, and not with this freaking' boulder on my chest. I knew that I was writing [the album] in a way that people would ask questions. I knew that my star was rising, and I knew that if I waited I would always have somebody that I respected be able to encourage me to wait longer, to not say it till who knows when. I wished at 13 there was somebody I looked up to who would have said something like that, who would have been transparent in that way.
[on being fearless about his sexual declaration] People are just afraid of things too much. Afraid of things that don't necessarily merit fear. Me putting Nostalgia out. What's physically going to happen? Me saying what I said on my Tumblr last week? Sure, evil exists, extremism exists. Somebody could commit a hate crime and hurt me. But they could do the same just because I'm black. They could do the same just because I'm American. Do you just not go outside your house? Do you not drive your car because of the statistics? How else are you limiting your life for fear?
The core message of my music is to encourage people to think differently about their relationships. Not just romantic relationships, but as people, period.
[on changing his name] I changed my name on my birthday last year. It was the most empowering shit I did in 2010, for sure. I went on LegalZoom and changed my name. It just felt cool. None of us are our names. If you don't like your name then change your name. I'm only a few steps into the process, so I probably shouldn't even be talking about this, but by the beginning of summer I'll be straight. I'll be boarding planes as Christopher Francis Ocean.
[on Hurricane Katrina, which devastated his city and his recording facilities] The storm itself didn't make me move, but the storm ruined my recording environment and the studio I was working in got looted and destroyed by floodwater. I didn't have a place to work in New Orleans so I left and came to LA.
There was a point where I was composing for other people, and it might have been comfy to continue to do that and enjoy that income stream and the anonymity. But that's not why I moved away from school and away from family.
It's about the stories. If I write 14 stories that I love, then the next step is to get the environment of music around it to best envelop the story and all kinds of sonic goodness.
[on why he doesn't do much press] It seems healthier to be a little more reclusive. I rely heavily on my art form and letting that speak for me and what I do.
I think my creativity comes from a really pure place. I feel at a higher level of consciousness when I'm being creative.
[on his relationship with Odd Future] That's family. I've known them from before all the attention. I met them at the end of 2009. I don't keep a journal or anything like that, so I don't remember dates and times that I met folks, but it's all through creativity. That's how we clicked. It's like how you meet anyone else. I guess social networking is a part of how people meet these days, but that's not how this happened. It was more like a person-to-person, mutual friends, sort of thing.
My music definitely comes from a place of experience. Everything connects to a truth. Heartbreak, I imagine, has been the same emotion since the beginning of it all. I think the reason it might sound different coming from me is because, as a storyteller I might be telling the story differently than how it's been told. But I don't think I'm telling a new story. Maybe I'm wrong.
I'm an artist, first and foremost. I don't like boxes. Whether you're singing or rapping or spoken word, any combination you love, the lyrics sheet should always read well. So that's how I approach everything, no matter what I'm doing.
[on Don Henley threatening to sue him over his "Hotel California" sample on the track "American Wedding" from Nostalgia, Ultra] He [They] threatened to sue if I perform it again. I think that's fucking awesome. I guess if I play it at Coachella it'll cost me a couple hundred racks. If I don't show up to court, it'll be a judgment against me and will probably show up on my credit report. Oh well. I try to buy my shit cash anyway. They asked that I release a statement expressing my admiration for Mr. Henley, along with my assistance pulling it off the web as much as possible. Shit's weird. Ain't this guy rich as fuck? Why sue the new guy? I didn't make a dime off that song. I released it for free. If anything I'm paying homage.
When you're happy, you enjoy the music. But when you're sad, you understand the lyrics.
[on whether he should have changed the pronouns of his songs to make them generic] Yes, I could have easily changed the words. But for what? I just feel like it's just another time now. When you write a song like "Forrest Gump", the subject can't be androgynous. It requires an unnecessary amount of effort. I don't fear anybody at all.
[on his mixtape, Nostalgia, Ultra] It's nostalgic. It's a longing for the past. That's what this record felt like. I named it five minutes before we finished mastering. Right before we had to write the labels on the CDs and get out of there. Ultra, because it's also modern because of the sonics of it. It felt right. That's how I am. I just go with it. The only big debate was whether I was going to use the slash or the comma, but the comma felt right, too.
[on the making of his mixtape, Nostalgia, Ultra] It was like difficult to make. Not like writing the songs arranging the songs. That had a level of difficulty, too. But just piecing together all the levels to do it at the level, the quality of records I wanted to make. But, it was a process I appreciate so much.
[his statement when he had to cancel his European tour dates, including opening slot for Coldplay] Let me start by staying I feel like an asshole right now, but a tough decision had to be made in regard to my schedule over the next months and the casualties of that decision include my appearances at upcoming festivals in Europe and my opening slot on the European leg of the Coldplay world tour. I'll be back if you'll have me.
[on how he remains a pop star mystery] It's not formulaic. It's not me necessarily trying to preserve mystique. It's who I am. It's how I prefer to move. I really don't think that deeply about it at all, I swear I don't. I'm just existing.
With my art, it's the one thing that I know will outlive me and outlive my feelings. It will outlive my depressive seasons.
I'm extremely compassionate, loving, all of those warm fuzzy things, but the outer shell doesn't project that all the time.
I want to give the best show possible when I can and put myself in a position to just do my best. So if that means a lesser volume of appearances then so be it. I'm in this thing, whatever it is, I hate to call it a game because I take it pretty seriously but I'm in it for as long as I'm allowed to be. It's not about "let's do a million things right now". It's about "let's just do our best to do the best things right now".
The work is the work. The work is not me. I like the anonymity that directors can have about their films. Even though it's my voice, I'm a storyteller.
[on why he doesn't put his name on his album covers] As a lifestyle you always being the focal point is innately unhealthy.
I knew that I was writing in a way that people would ask questions. I knew that my star was rising, and I knew that if I waited I would always have somebody that I respected be able to encourage me to wait longer, to not say it till who knows when. It was important for me to know that when I go out on the road and I do these things, that I'm looking at people who are applauding because of an appreciation for me. I don't have many secrets, so if you know that, and you're still applauding it may be some sort of sick validation but it was important to me. When I heard people talking about certain, you know, 'pronouns' in the writing of the record, I just wanted to - like I said on the post [his Tumblr post where he addressed his sexuality] offer some clarity; clarify, before the fire got too wild and the conversation became too unfocused and murky.
I've always wanted to make a career in the arts, and I think that my only hope at doing that is to make it more about the work. I enjoy singing my songs in front of people. I enjoy being involved in making the artwork for albums and stupid stuff like that. I wouldn't be a part of [it] if I was just writing songs for others.
[on his song "Pyramids"] I have actual pimps in my family in LA. It was fantasy built off that dynamic, but you can only write what you know to a point.
For a song like "Crack Rock", my grandfather, who had struggled to be a father for my mom and my uncle. His second chance at fatherhood was me. In his early-20s, he had a host of problems with addiction and substance abuse. When I knew him, he was a mentor for the NA and the AA groups. I used to go to the meetings and hear these stories from the addicts - heroin and crack and alcohol. So stories like that influence a song like that.
LA is something special to me. LA is special because I wrote Channel Orange here, I wrote Nostalgia, Ultra here, I fell in love here, I got my heart broken here, I got a little famous here, I got a paid here.
Odd Future is comprised of gifted and talented American kids. We challenge each other. They challenge me for sure. Whenever you're in a circle that's talented throughout, it makes less room for complacency. My purpose is to contribute to that productive environment as much as I can.
[on what inspires his songs] guess I'm just inspired to tell stories and I enjoy music and just the art form so much, that it seems like the perfect medium to tell stories. And in my life, times that I've enjoy and that mean a lot to me, I often go back to them. So when I'm making music, that's really all you can draw off of when your storytelling is your own experiences and memories and personal wisdom and knowledge. When I pull from that place it comes along with pictures. And when I'm trying to make song, even the parts that don't have words it's still me really trying to make a photograph out of something you could never see.
[on the digital version of his album Channel Orange more than one week before it came out in stores] I kinda wanted to mirror what Jay-Z and Kanye West did with Watch the Throne. Preventing the leak by staggering the digital and physical dates. My thing was, I wanted all the promotional elements to be- I don't know if the word is 'retroactive,' but kind of follow the album with the videos and the tour and do everything after. And kind of just let the music speak for itself for a second and not be in a situation where the record leaked. It was always my plan to drop it ahead of physical.
[on Channel Orange] I wanted to do things that I hadn't done before structurally with songs and I wanted to go different places sonically that I hadn't gone before. I tried to make something that was true to what I heard in my head, true to what I thought the future should be for me music-wise.
I'm not about to go and do every feature that comes forward. I think people in the urban music scene place too much of a premium on collaborations to begin with. That's the first thing. And second, I think that people shouldn't be on magazines that they wouldn't read and shouldn't really feature on songs that they wouldn't listen to if they weren't on it.
It's not about as soon as I got offers for five, ten, fifteen thousand to go do shows. It's about getting a show ready and really doin' a show right, and doing your best to just give your best.
The writing, for me, is the easiest part-I was looking for another word besides easy-but that's the part that's the most natural to me. I never felt like I had a crazy, natural talent for singing.
That's something so sincere and endearing about writing. I enjoy writing like that sometimes. I enjoy photography in a record. Creative writing coupled with what music is, just within itself, the instrumentation, the melody without any words, just humming, the emotions, the notes by themselves and together can emote, coupled with my knack for writing, there's a power in that.
I'm really trying to create this environment around the song that makes the listener feel like they're in this place and they're hearing the story and not only are they hearing it, they're really seeing it.
I just think R&B is so racial. I'm going to borrow a line from Duke Ellington and say it's "beyond category." Pharrell Williams has told me to say I'm a singer/songwriter, because that's what I really am. I don't want to step off into the "Don't label me because I'm black" realm, but I would say any artist that is killing it right now has long since abandoned genre and expanded past certain labels.
If someone breaks your heart just punch them in the face. Seriously. Punch them in the face and go get some ice cream.
[on being a fan of Stanley Kubrick and Steven Soderbergh] If I can do in music what they did in movies, tell those kinds of stories? That's what I want to do.
I wanna write a novel about twins, some type of nature versus nurture tale. I've said that to a neighbor before. It's an open ended idea. I want to start a car club. I'm playing with two names for it. I sketched a logo for it. It's not there yet. I was going to build an arcade, the more I lived with that idea the less it stuck.
I sat in the studio days ago with Jay-Z and Pharrell Williams. Pharrell looks 19. They seemed like old friends. I wonder how many trophies are logged in their mind. I wonder why they still build. I build things for the sport and the therapeutic benefits.
All I really have to say is that love is all there is. Every other sentence just belabors the point. Maybe not in a boring way, I don't know what I'm saying.
[on 2012] It's a real peaceful but active year.
[on the personal importance of meeting Odd Future] I was at a real dark time in my life when I met them. I was looking for just a reprieve. At 20 or 21, I had, I think, a couple hundred thousand dollars [from producing and songwriting], a nice car, a Beverly Hills apartment-and I was miserable. Because of the relationship in part and the heartbreak in part, and also just miserable because of like just carting that around. And here was this group of like-minded individuals whose irreverence made me revere. The do-it-yourself mentality of OF really rubbed off on me.
[on challenging himself] John Mayer and I were talking in rehearsal before Saturday Night Live (1975), and he was like, "You love to take the hardest way. You don't always have to." We all know we have a finite period of time. I just feel if I'm going to be alive, I want to be challenged-to be as immortal as possible. The path to that isn't an easy way, but it's a rewarding way.
[when asked if he was bisexual in the December 2012 edition of GQ] You can move to the next question. I'll respectfully say that life is dynamic and comes along with dynamic experiences, and the same sentiment that I have towards genres of music, I have towards a lot of labels and boxes and shit. I'm in this business to be creative-I'll even diminish it and say to be a content provider. One of the pieces of content that I'm for fuck sure not giving is porn videos. I'm not a centerfold. I'm not trying to sell you sex. People should pay attention to that in the letter: I didn't need to label it for it to have impact. Because people realize everything that I say is so relatable, because when you're talking about romantic love, both sides in all scenarios feel the same shit. As a writer, as a creator, I'm giving you my experiences. But just take what I give you. You ain't got to pry beyond that. I'm giving you what I feel like you can feel. The other shit, you can't feel. You can't feel a box. You can't feel a label. Don't get caught up in that shit. There's so much something in life. Don't get caught up in the nothing. That shit is nothing, you know? It's nothing. Vanish the fear.
[on coming out and worries about if it would hurt his career] I had those fears. In black music, we've got so many leaps and bounds to make with acceptance and tolerance in regard to that issue. It reflects something just ingrained, you know. When I was growing up, there was nobody in my family-not even my mother-who I could look to and be like, "I know you've never said anything homophobic." So, you know, you worry about people in the business who you've heard talk that way. Some people said, "He's saying he fell in love with a guy for hype." As if that's the best hype you can get in hip-hop or black music. So I knew that if I was going to say what I said, it had to be in concert with one of the most brilliant pieces of art that has come out in my generation. And that's what I did. Why can I say that? Why I don't have to affect all this humility and shit is because I worked my ass off. I worked my face off. And the part that you love the most is the easiest part for me. So I'll do it again.
[his feelings after he came out] The night I posted it, I cried like a fucking baby. It was like all the frequency just clicked to a change in my head. All the receptors were now receiving a different signal, and I was happy. I hadn't been happy in so long. I've been sad again since, but it's a totally different take on sad. There's just some magic in truth and honesty and openness. Whatever I said in that letter, before I posted it, seemed so huge. But when you come out the other side, now your brain-instead of receiving fear-sees "Oh, shit happened and nothing happened." Brain says, "Self, I'm fine." I look around, and I'm touching my fucking limbs, and I'm good. Before anybody called me and said congratulations or anything nice, it had already changed. It wasn't from outside. It was completely in here, in my head.
Art's everything we hope life would be, a lot of times.
Of course awards matter. It's like a player in any ball league - NFL, NBA, whatever - you come up in these systems of organization, and you can hate the league but, at the end of the day, you can't hate the championship. Music industry people - and, whether I like it or not, I'm a music industry person - that's the game I came up in. The Grammys are like the championship, and that's cool. It's cool to be recognized by your peers.
In art, at a certain level, there is no "better than". It's just about trying to operate for yourself on the most supreme level, artistically, that you can and hoping that people get it. Trusting that, just because of the way people are built and how interconnected we are, greatness will translate and symmetry will be recognized.
I listen to my music too. I can't usually stomach a project after I finish it, but for those days and weeks and months that it's new to me, I do listen to it and it might change over time, but it's about function. If I'm maybe saying something I want to say, or capture a feeling in a story, or illustrate a character that I have on my mind, anything - function first, thrill second.
Here's what I think about music and journalism: The most important thing is to just press play. All in all, I just don't trust journalists - and I don't think it's a good practice for me to trust journalists.
I have no delusions about my likability, in every scenario. I know that in order to get things done the way you want them, oftentimes your position will be unpopular.
That's why image is so important. That's why you've got to practice brevity when you do interviews like this. I could try to make myself likable to you so you could write a piece that keeps my image in good standing, because I'm still selling this, or I could just say, "My art speaks for itself."
Whenever I think about movies, I always look at that art process as having the best of a lot of worlds. Because if you watch a great film, you have a musical element to it, not just on the scoring, but in the way that the shots are edited - that has music and rhythm and time. Obviously the cinematography of films is art, just as a still shot can be art. If I'm watching a Wes Anderson movie, the color palettes alone, and the way they're painted, could be art. With music you're a little bit limited, of course, because it's only audio. Apart from the artwork and the music videos, if you can get the label to give you money for shit like that, or if you can do it yourself. But the storytelling, that's where you can really paint pictures. You can't do it with a melody or a sound or a rhythm or a chord progression. The storytelling part of it is the most interesting and challenging part of the whole process for me. Some people focus more on sonics. Some people focus more on story. I focus on both sonics and story, but music sometimes, just music itself, can turn into more of a maths problem. I guess everything in life is a math problem, but it can be more about an empirical route to getting the symmetry that you want, and this vibe, sonically. But storytelling's a different thing.
I hope not to define myself by suffering. I don't worry about where [the inspiration] will come from. I think even with that cured, there's still so much to pull from. I know people like to say that. You know, "It's a gift and a curse." It's not a gift. I don't believe that. I believe it's just pain. The gift would be the gift whether I went through it or not. We'd just be having a different conversation.
My mother is the strongest person I know, and the one I've seen in action be most selfless.
[on being on Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World list] This is pretty cool. The whole list is pretty rad, a pretty good assortment of folks. A very varied assortment of human beings in all different spaces and cool, very cool.
My childhood was cool. New Orleans was good to me; the city's got a lot of character. My family is cool. I was kind of a 'bad kid' as far as school and stuff goes, you know - I wasn't the greatest student - but I had a cool childhood.
You can't just go and buy new pants. And then, when you discover the pants, it's this euphoric feeling all throughout your body, because you know you found the right pants.
Do I feel like I belong in LA? Here's my feeling about LA: LA is this massive place, and you get so many types of lifestyles and shit here; you find all these pockets. Take my friend who lives in Malibu, for example - I think that's still LA county. So, he lives in LA, but he lives in a place that doesn't look like it's LA. For all intents and purposes he isn't in the same LA that I live in at my place in Hollywood - we might as well be a state apart considering how different it is. So I can see myself belonging in certain parts of LA.
[on Nabil Elderkin] Like, when I say that about Nabil, I feel like Nabil doesn't belong anywhere in LA County. Nabil belongs in Saint Petersburg, Russia, for a little while, or he belongs in a war zone taking iconic photos - risking his life for the shot. I think I could use a couple years away from this city - I think I could definitely use a couple years away from this city. Seven years is a long time.
If I didn't live in LA I would have a much more refined daily dress-code. But since I live here, the weather's great, but it's also forbidding in the sense that I can't wear a ton of layers all the time and be really slick. Be really posh and shit - wear stuff of that nature. I was looking at a place in Notting Hill. I'm kind of obsessed with the idea of moving. I'm kind of obsessed with that. I'm gonna make the move.
I went to Tokyo, and apart from it being really hot and humid, it was one of my favorite trips. I wasn't going there for a show or anything. I was just going to hang out. I'd been there for a couple weeks, and there's just something about the pride that they take in their work. That, I kind of gravitate towards. I mean, not to make my response too simple, but that's probably at the core of why I like so much of what comes out of that part of the world. They have that attitude towards their work pride and presentation. You have to be 'work first' for the whole benefit of the system that you're a part of. People need to direct their energy towards making something great and useful, you know? It should common sense, but, it's not!
I didn't ever have a disciplinarian in my creative life. As a young person I didn't have - for lack of a better word - I didn't have a Joe Jackson in my family. I didn't have that sort of overbearing stage-parent. Or, even, I didn't even have a parent who encouraged what I did in that way. And - don't bring out the string section. It's not really sad - what it did foster is, well, my attitude was pure. I love to make music, and I love to write. It was writing first. I love to write and express myself in that medium, so that was the pure part - just the love of doing something, but there was also this fantasy of what the lifestyle would be and what the trappings of success would be. There are different little montage clips that you make up in your mind, like what a day in the life would be like once you're a fully grown whatever-you're-going-to-become. Writing is most certainly an art form - and you have to keep balancing, juggling like circus actors, negotiating between the business and the craft. I'd almost lean toward saying that's an art form in and of itself also.
[when asked about the worst thing he has been called] The worst thing I've been called. I mean, it's less about what someone calls you, and more about who's calling you that. So, I don't know the answer to that question. I'm a bit impervious to the things that people say, depending on who's saying it. I try to unflip things and have thick skin no matter what people are saying, but when people are closer to you. You know, you get into a spat with someone you care about, and they say some shit they don't mean, or that they do mean, which makes it more emotional, but, you know - you get over it.

See also

Other Works | Publicity Listings | Official Sites | Contact Info

Contribute to This Page