As Frank Ocean gears up for the follow-up to Channel Orange, his 2012 major-label debut — which has sold 621,000 units, according to Nielsen SoundScan, and took home a 2013 Grammy for best urban contemporary album — he has made a key change behind the scenes. Since July, Ocean has been signed to management with Three Six Zero, Billboard has learned, joining a roster that includes Calvin Harris, Deadmau5 and Kate Nash.
“Frank is an incredibly intelligent and creatively brilliant individual,” says Mark Gillespie, co-founder of Three Six Zero Group. “We’re proud that he felt Three Six Zero was the right home for him.”
After parting ways with longtime managers Christian and Kelly Clancy’s agency 4 Strikes earlier this year, Ocean met with Guy Oseary (U2, Madonna) and Ron Laffitte (Pharrell Williams, Alicia Keys) before signing with Three Six Zero.
Though Channel Orange brought him much critical acclaim, Ocean has developed a reputation for being difficult. (Former publicist Heathcliff Berru told Billboard in June he was “relieved” to lose Ocean as a client.) Still, anticipation is high for his next release from Def Jam. Hit-Boy and Rodney Jerkins are among the new producers who’ve recently logged studio time, along with frequent collaborators Happy Perez, Charlie Gambetta and Kevin Ristro.