LOS ANGELES – A producer who claims to have collaborated with Frank Ocean on his Grammy Award-winning debut album sued the singer, his creative partner and record label today in Los Angeles, alleging they cheated him out of performance and production credits.
In the complaint, filed in Los Angeles federal court, producer- songwriter Micah Otano alleges that Malay — Ocean’s chief creative partner on “Channel Orange” — engaged in a “fraudulent scheme to deprive Otano of credit for his production and performance work” on the track “Lost.”
The album won the Grammy for best urban contemporary album last month, an award Malay shared in.
Attempts to reach Ocean’s management were unsuccessful after regular business hours.
According to the suit, which cites breach of contract, fraud, copyright infringement and other allegations, Otano co-created the song upon which “Lost” was based.
Otano also alleges he solely performed the lead synthesizer parts on “DayLight,” as well as piano and other parts, and collaborated with Malay on the drum programming — and all those performances were incorporated into the finished track.
“There is arguably no more shameful act — in either the music world or the non-music world — than to take credit for someone else’s hard work and talent, and then accept an award for that work under false pretenses,” according to the lawsuit, which also names UMG Recordings and Island/Def Jam.
Otano seeks general and punitive damages, profits and future royalties from sales of the album, and co-production credits on the song.