Grammy Producer Says He Advised Frank Ocean Against “Faulty” 2013 Performance, Frank Responds

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    “That’s not great TV,” said producer Ken Ehrlich of the performance.

    Frank Ocean decided to abstain from this weekend’s Grammy Awards, so it’s unlikely that he’ll appear on tomorrow night’s show. The Grammys’ creative team—producer Ken Ehrlich and writer David Wild—gave an interview with Rolling Stone where they discussed Ocean’s history with the award show. Specifically, they 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 “a very definite idea” for the performance—Ocean singing behind a screen with running legs—and claimed that Ehrlich responded by saying, “That’s not great TV.” Wild continued:

    “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.’ 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 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.” Listen to the interview below with their comments about Ocean starting at the 33:10 mark.

    In a recent interview with The New York Times, Ocean discussed that Grammy performance, saying he was always “reluctant” to perform at big events. He said he agreed to the Grammys because of the show’s “nostalgic significance.”

    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. 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.

    Grammy Producer Says He Advised Frank Ocean Against “Faulty” 2013 Performance | Pitchfork



    Frank Responded to this story via Tumblr:

     
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