Frank Ocean is featured in TIME’s “The 100 Most Influential People List”
Frank is brilliant. The day I started writing with him, it was clear that he has a very interesting mind and a distinctive way of expressing himself. He was fearless and innately creative. You talk to some people in this business and you get the sense that they’re very focused on radio: what will be a hit or won’t be a hit. You never get that from Frank. The focus is on creating something that’s beautiful, that’s great art.
Frank broke a lot of rules with his album Channel Orange. He wasn’t focused on “What’s gonna be my single?” And obviously, one of the cardinal rules was that he wasn’t supposed to come out. But he did, and he did it in a way that speaks to what kind of artist he is, in a beautifully written letter to his fans. The day the letter was published, he came over to my house for a July 4 barbecue, where he was among friends who supported him and showed him love.
How fitting that he released his “declaration” on Independence Day. I think Frank’s career will be defined by his fearlessness and his artistic freedom. He has the talent, the ability and the brilliance to have an impact for a long time. He will follow his muse wherever it goes — he’s not the kind of artist to adhere to everyone else’s schedule. That’s what makes him special.
Legend, a singer-songwriter, has won nine Grammy Awards