Frank Ocean on Why He Released Channel Orange Early
The R&B singer admits he wanted to follow Jay-Z and Kanye West’s blueprint.
By Reggie Ugwu
Frank Ocean is the man of the hour after surprising fans earlier this week with the digital release of his debut album, Channel Orange, one week before it was scheduled to hit stores. In a rare new interview with Zane Lowe of BBC’s Radio 1, Ocean opened up about the release strategy, his live television debut on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and more.
“It was the plan all along,” he said of releasing the album on iTunes a week early. “I wanted to kind of mirror what Jay and Kanye did with Watch the Throne and stagger the digital and physical release… to let the music speak for itself for a second and not be in a situation where the record leaks… me, my label and management went through a lot to make sure it went down seamlessly.”
Though Ocean managed to successfully control the release of his album, his strategy was not without consequences. Retail giant Target surprised some when it said it would not carry Channel Orange in its stores because of the decision to give iTunes an advantage.
Later in the interview, Frank also touched on his live performance and keeping his North American tour to a relatively limited 15 dates.
“I want to do the best show possible and just put myself in a position to do the best show that I can,” he said. “So if that means a lesser volume of appearances, then so be it.”
After the tour raps in August, he’ll open for Coldplay in stadiums internationally. Channel Orange is in stores (except Target) July 17.