Producer Ken Ehrlich and writer David Wild speak of Ocean's "childlike" behaviour.
Grammy producer Ken Ehrlich and writer David Wild have discussed Frank Ocean‘s history with the awards show, after Ocean intentionally did not submit ‘Blonde’ and ‘Endless’ for Grammy consideration.
While representatives for Ocean didn’t comment on the revelation, Billboard claims a rep for the Grammys confirmed that Ocean’s albums had not been submitted for consideration.
In 2013, Frank Ocean performed at the 55th Grammys. He was also nominated for a number of awards, winning Best Urban Contemporary Album for Channel Orange and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration with Kanye West and Jay Z for ‘No Church in the Wild.’
Speaking to Rolling Stone magazine, Ehrlich and Wild talked about working with Ocean in the days leading up to his 2013 Grammy performance of the Channel Orange track ‘Forrest Gump.’ Wild said that the singer pitched the idea for the performance and claimed that Ehrlich responded by saying, “That’s not great TV.”
“What [Ehrlich]’s taught all of us who work with him is, ‘We’re not putting on a radio show. We’re not making a mixtape. We’re broadcasting on CBS to tens of millions of people, to the whole world, and you have to make it a TV moment and a musical moment that works on television,” Wild continued. “And [Ehrlich] knew from the start that that was not one of those moments.”
Wild claimed that Ocean declined to collaborate with the Grammy producers on the performance, and at one point, called the singer’s refusal to collaborate “childlike.” Ehrlich concurred that Ocean was “rigid” in his idea for the performance. “We executed his vision knowing that it was faulty,” the producer said. “And we tried to tell him that, we tried to tell his management that, we tried to tell the record label that. So, his feelings about the Grammys right now, I would imagine, probably go back to that in one way. But honestly, it wasn’t us.”
In a recent interview with The New York Times, Ocean spoke of the performance. “Like performing at the VMAs, being tapped to perform at the Grammys—me saying yes to those things had a lot to do with how those things made me feel before I was actually in the business,” he said.
“And just wanting to be rubbing shoulders with those people and being seen at those places. I still was reluctant and sort of skeptical of those things because I questioned whether or not I was prepared.”