Facebook

Twitter

Tumblr

iTunes

RSS

HEAR THIS HOUR'S UPDATE
News Pages
« Steven Tyler on Hand for Presentation of Anti-Paparazzi "Steven Tyler Act" in Hawaii Senate Hearing Friday | Main | First-Time Grammy Nominees Excited, Bewildered over Their Nominations »
Friday
Feb082013

"Channel Orange" Producer Om'Mas Keith Is Certain Frank Ocean Will Win

Island Def JamFrank Ocean is up for six Grammy Awards at this Sunday's big show, including Album of the Year, Record of the Year and Best Urban Contemporary Album, thanks to his Channel Orange mainstream debut.  And while the jury is out on whether Frank will sweep the Grammys, Om'Mas Keith -- Frank's collaborator and Channel Orange producer -- is certain that he and Mr. Ocean will not walk away from the ceremony empty-handed.

Frank and Om'Mas met years ago in Los Angeles while Frank was still working on what would become his first critically acclaimed set, nostalgia, ULTRA, Om'Mas tells ABC News Radio.  After going back and forth, and sharing their personal music projects with each other, Frank eventually invited Om'Mas to help him craft his next release, Channel Orange.

The two spent a year or so working on the project, and two-thirds of the way in, Om'Mas says that's when the music gave him his first "real big chill."  The project was released in July, and several months later Om'Mas got a call.  It was Frank on the phone, informing him that their project had garnered multiple Grammy nods, including Album of the Year.

After spending years in the music industry -- as a solo performer, member of Sa-Ra and producer for others -- Om'Mas does not take the nominations for granted.  "To be included in the popular opinion of what's the best, it just makes you feel so amazing," he tells ABC News Radio.  Of course, you don't "go around hoping" for an Album of the Year nomination, he explains.  "You just hope for the best in life, and then that's one of the best things that can happen to you...to be regarded by your peers and constituents as one of the best."

Channel Orange was released unexpectedly last year, arriving on iTunes shortly after Frank made his national television debut on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.  The song Frank performed that night was "Bad Religion," a track that featured him lamenting over a former love interest -- specifically, another man.  It was a facet of Frank's personal life which he had addressed just days earlier, via a note he posted to his tumblr page.

Along with "Bad Religion," Frank also sings about a male love interest on his Channel Orange song "Forrest Gump."  And while everyone from music experts to everyday fans were talking about Frank's music, they were talking about his sexuality, too.  Some critics even argued that the subject had grown larger than the singer's musical contributions.

It's an opinion that Om'Mas disagrees with.  And while he won't discuss Frank's personal life, or their discussions related to it, Om'Mas says "the subject matter" of Channel Orange "is completely appropriate for where we're at as a nation, as a world, in 2013.  Did it overshadow?  Nope.  In my opinion, it did not actually overshadow."      

"That's subject matter that Frank clearly wanted to talk about," Om'Mas adds.  "He did it.  He made it available to the public.  And, here we are with Grammy nominations."

If Channel Orange takes the trophy for Album of the Year, it won't be because Frank sang about any one particular thing, Om'Mas says.  "I don't think the subject matter of one song, or a couple statements is what makes a whole board or a committee of people decide that we've made the best creative overall statement of the whole year," Om'Mas explains. 

Om'Mas is sure that he and Frank will win Grammys.  In fact, Om'Mas joked that he'd keep the trophies at his house for a while, then his mother could hold on to them, followed by his grandmother, then back to him again, and so on.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio