Off the top, Ocean addresses his reputation for being a recluse, describing the description as a misconception. “I think the whole idea of me as a recluse is absurd ’cause I’m in the streets like all the time. I’m outside all the time, I’m traveling the world all the time,” explained Ocean.
He also provides some of the day-to-day activities, which include TV watching. Ocean lists his current faves as “Chef’s Table,” “Handmaid’s Tale and “Grown-ish.”
Ocean also provided some detail on his final days as an artist under contract to Universal and Def Jam. Following a four-year sabbatical, Ocean released the visual album Endless, as an Apple exclusive, a released that officially ended his relationship with the record labels. He followed up with Blonde, a 17-song album Blond, released as an Apple under Ocean’s Boys Don’t Cry label. According to Billboard, the move led a very ticked off Universal CEO Lucian Grainge to declare an end to all streaming exclusives on one platform.
Addressing A$AP Rocky‘s version of the split, discussed in an interview with Angie Martinez, Ocean disputed some of the details. The 31-year-old explained, “There was certainly noise within the industry about it, like Universal saying no more exclusives could happen afterwards. So I was being asked about it, and I didn’t really talk about it too much with people. But with Rocky, we spoke about it. I think with advice, that situation probably won’t ever happen again in the same way, so I don’t know if my advice would be any good as far as how to do it again.”
While Ocean’s label move won’t likely be duplicated, he did provide some advice for young creatives, cautioning them not be drawn in by the bells and whistles traditionally viewed as marking success. Ocean said, ”
[Artists’ ideas of success] 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.
“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?”
Ocean also spoke at length about his own process for creating music and also writing for other artists. He also reflected on what he would have told himself prior to the release of his debut album Channel Orange, a highly-praised project that super-charged the trajectory of his career. Alluding to the album’s success leading to the end of relationships, Ocean explained, ”
I would maybe say gird your loins for some of the betrayals that took place. But I wouldn’t even, because I was ready for all that. It would probably be something stupid like when I went on vacation, I should have stayed out for like four more weeks.”
One final note? Ocean wants the world to know he’s 6’1″ not, as has been claimed, 5’10”.