In an age of constant over-disclosure, Frank Ocean stands out for his commitment to privacy.
The singer’s personal life and professional motivations are generally kept under wraps, but the “Provider” singer sat down for a rare interview with Gayletter where he revealed the origin of his mysterious stage name to the public for the first time.
Born Lonny Breaux, and using that name to sign his first contract in 2005, the singer totally abandoned that moniker and legally changed his name to Frank Ocean in 2015 out of artistic necessity, he revealed.
“For me, the genesis of that name change came from me trying to make a project without my label knowing about it. It was born from a need,” Ocean explained.
Some in the industry would argue it worked too well.
Ocean was slick enough to completely upend the traditional music business model by fulfilling his contractual obligation to Def Jam and releasing another project independently the very next day.
“I hear certain people say that about their name, their look, even their sound, that it’s a form of armor or a shield from whatever pain they might not want to feel. I don’t think that was it, though,” he explained. “I was just trying to be slick, so I could do what I was doing without people knowing. And it worked.”