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Frank Ocean: A Rising Star Who Avoids Media Spotlight

Despite becoming one of the fastest rising stars in music, Odd Future’s Frank Ocean has done his best to elude the media attention that comes with having the best album of the year according to Billboard, The A.V. Club and more.

Ocean recently was the focus of a 10-page feature story in The New York Times Magazine, which dubbed him “The Self-Made Prince of Pop.” Even after agreeing to the feature, Ocean expressed his reluctance to get involved with music journalists, and explained the reason behind his self-imposed media embargo.

“Here’s what I think about music and journalism: The most important thing is to just press play,” Ocean said to Times reporter Jeff Himmelmann. “All in all, I just don’t trust journalists — and I don’t think it’s a good practice for me to trust journalists.”

Ocean found himself at the center of a media firestorm in the days before his debut album, Channel Orange released, but much of it revolved around his sexuality, rather than his music. In an expository blog post submitted by the artist four days before Channel Orange dropped, Ocean spoke of his first love, a man. He has not chosen to identify himself as gay, bisexual or anything else, despite widespread speculation. Still, he remains conscious of his public image and how it translates into success.

“That’s why image is so important,” Ocean told The Times. “That’s why you’ve got to practice brevity when you do interviews like this. I could try to make myself likable to you, so you could write a piece that keeps my image in good standing because I’m still selling this, or I could just say, ‘My art speaks for itself.’”

Ocean has earned six Grammy nominations, including Best New Artist, Record of the Year, and Album of the Year. He will also perform during the presentation of this year’s Grammy Awards on Feb. 10. After that, Ocean plans to travel abroad to begin working on new music “in remote locations,” beginning with a stop in Shanghai.

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