Frank Ocean continues to set the stage for a follow-up to his staggering 2012 major-label debut, channel ORANGE. Way back in April, the Odd Future-affiliated singer/songwriter hinted that he might’ve been about to “finish this bitch.” Now there’s word he has put in place a new management team.
Ocean inked a deal in July with Three Six Zero, according to Billboard. The company also works with Calvin Harris, Deadmau5 and Kate Nash. The move reportedly comes after the R&B auteur split from prior management team 4 Strikes (Odd Future, Solange, Mac Miller) earlier in 2014. According to Billboard, he had also considered signing up with U2 and Madonna manager Guy Oseary as well as Pharrell Williams and Alicia Keys manager Ron Laffitte (yes, from the Spoon song).
As fans await a new album on Def Jam, the behind-the-scenes changes aren’t necessarily an encouraging sign. Ocean also left publicist Heathcliff Berru earlier this year; the Life or Death PR and Management founder later told Billboard he was “relieved” to be rid of Ocean’s business.
In the meantime, Ocean has been in the news for plenty of reasons beyond new music. Along with Kanye West and Jay Z, he’s facing a lawsuit over alleged copyright infringement on 2011′s Watch the Throne. He spoke out over the events in Ferguson, Missouri. He’s also reportedly in line to appear on a new Brian Wilson album, and when not fending off Inception-style lawsuits, he’s been facing disputes with everyone from Don Henley to Chipotle. It’s no fault of Ocean’s, but his father also recently sued Def Jam founder Russell Simmons. Ocean’s disappointing, Converse-funded track with Diplo and one-half of the Clash, though, released in March, would appear to be at least one-third (one-fourth?) his own fault.
Those inclined to read the tea leaves about whatever the Beyoncé collaborator may have in store next can look at a string of high-profile management changes in the past couple of years. News surfaced last December that Nine Inch Nails had split with its then-manager after almost a decade relationship. Lady Gaga reportedly parted ways with her manager just ahead of last year’s ARTPOP. Also splitting with longtime management last year was past Ocean musical partner John Mayer, according to Billboard.