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Frank Ocean Talks Def Jam Split, Shares Advice For New Artists

The Grammy winner spoke about music and more with ‘Gayletter’ magazine.

Frank Ocean opened up about his split with Def Jam and shared some sound advice for new artists, in the cover story for Gayletter magazine.

It's no secret that Ocean's relationship with the label fell apart before his contract ended. In 2016, the Grammy winner likened being freed from Def Jam to “a seven-year chess game.” When asked about his, Blonde album, and the decision to release the project independently after fulfilling his obligations to the label, Ocean told Gayletter that he's “at peace” with how things turned out, and “proud” of what he was able to get done.

“I feel like the best outcome for myself was that outcome, and I feel proud of what I was able to get done with it. I love the music and the art that came out of that period, as well as the visual work. It’s definitely a period I look back on fondly.”

He went on to give advice to newcomers navigating the music industry. “Well, f**king with major music companies, you’re going to be…deflowered,” he explained. “Anytime you get into the business side of the arts, there has to be some degree of objectification or commodification that you’re comfortable with, of yourself and of your work.”

The 31-year-old singer noted that artists have to be clear about what they want out of their careers and how they quantify success. “A lot of people I talk to about careers in the music industry, their ideas of success have to do with nostalgia. They have to do with tropes of success, things they’ve been shown over the years that represent what a successful career is. I think that helps you become prey, because somebody can manipulate you with those things,” he said.

“Then you may get to a point in your experience where you become disillusioned with those things. So anybody having a clear idea — even if it’s as crass as ‘how much money do I want to make, specifically?’— I think that’s much clearer than some of these other things that represent success, whether that’s X amount of spins or streams or plaques. Even sold-out venues. If those things don’t help you reach your defined priorities, then what are those things there for?”

“That’s how I try to make decisions in my life and career, and, if asked, I share that philosophy with anybody who asks,” Ocean continued. “For me, it’s about Why am I doing this? What exactly do I want from this? And how do I get those specific things I want out of this? And what does success look like on those terms? And what does failure look like on those terms? That’s how I think about it now.”

On a more personal note, Ocean revealed that he has been in a relationship for three years. He also spoke about following his intuition, his interest in queer art and history, and wanting to go to college. “I’d still love to go to school. I’m sure there’s something about adults romanticizing college again, but yeah. Right now I’m just taking French, and you know, honestly, that’s about as much extracurricular as I can deal with.”

Read the full interview here.

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We are shocked and in the kind of deep pain you only hear about, the kind of pain we’ve never felt before. We were never able to stop the bleeding and give our baby the fluids he needed, despite bags and bags of blood transfusions. It just wasn’t enough. . . We never decide on our babies’ names until the last possible moment after they’re born, just before we leave the hospital. But we, for some reason, had started to call this little guy in my belly Jack. So he will always be Jack to us. Jack worked so hard to be a part of our little family, and he will be, forever. . . To our Jack - I’m so sorry that the first few moments of your life were met with so many complications, that we couldn’t give you the home you needed to survive. We will always love you. . . Thank you to everyone who has been sending us positive energy, thoughts and prayers. We feel all of your love and truly appreciate you. . . We are so grateful for the life we have, for our wonderful babies Luna and Miles, for all the amazing things we’ve been able to experience. But everyday can’t be full of sunshine. On this darkest of days, we will grieve, we will cry our eyes out. But we will hug and love each other harder and get through it.

A post shared by chrissy teigen (@chrissyteigen) on Sep 30, 2020 at 8:58pm PDT

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We are feeling blessed and full of love with the arrival of our beautiful baby girl, Sovereign Bo Raymond. “Isn’t She lovely” by Stevie Wonder on repeat ❤️ ❤️ ❤️

A post shared by Usher (@usher) on Sep 30, 2020 at 8:55am PDT

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— Pop Galore (@PopGalore) September 28, 2020

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Watch Dorsey’s full video below.

 

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🗣Its not always black and white.

A post shared by dorseyryan (@dorseyryan) on Sep 29, 2020 at 4:58pm PDT

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