Armed with six nominations, Grammy’s golden child Frank Ocean covers this weekend’s New York Times Magazine. Proclaimed “the self-made prince of pop,” the 25-year-old singer, who typically avoids interviews (“I just don’t trust journalists”), opens up about his rocky road to success, his love of BMWs, and his freedom to do whatever he wants.
“I have no delusions about my likability, in every scenario,” Ocean told the reporter, who interviewed him at a BMW repair shop in L.A. “I know that in order to get things done the way you want them, oftentimes your position will be unpopular.”
After the success of his 2011 mixtape Nostalgia, Ultra, Ocean’s camp reportedly called Island Def Jam chairman Barry Weiss to demand $1 million for his follow-up record.
“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,” said Weiss.
Following the Grammys, Ocean will head to Shanghai and record his next album “in remote locations for the next two years.”
He is also writing a book. “I’ve started writing the book,” he said. “You can say that. It’s fiction, and it’s about brothers. That’s all I’m going to say.”
But don’t expect to see him transitioning into acting out of fear of being blackballed. “I don’t like the idea of there being somebody who could break me,” he said. “There’s no head of a label right now who could break me.”
Ocean is up for six awards at Sunday’s 55th Annual Grammy Awards including Best New Artist, Record of the Year, and Album of the Year for channel ORANGE.
See more photos from the shoot and read the full story at NYTimes.com.
Photo credit: Ryan McGinley/The New York Times