Drake Talks Working With Stevie Wonder, Evolution As A Rapper
Drizzy talks about recording with the legendary Stevie Wonder and how he's grow as an artist since he first burst on the scene.
With as many hit songs as he's appeared on this summer alone, it's hard to imagine that Drake had enough time to record his own music. Now, however, in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, the Young Money reveals that his sophomore LP Take Care will arrive on schedule this October 24, and that it's picked up a few key collaborations along the way.
Drizzy explained that he was able to enlist R&B legend Stevie Wonder to record a song with him, titled "Doing It Wrong." According to Drake, the song found him venturing out of his pop-oriented comfort zone and looking back to Stevie Wonder's discography for inspiration. He also said it's the first song he's recorded that's made listeners actually tear up in front of him.
"I had a song that’s very powerful, it’s called 'Doing It Wrong,' and Stevie [Wonder] boosted it to another level," he said. "[Noah '40' Shebib] produced it, but Stevie has a solo on it that he plays. It’s a great piece of music...He brought life to it. I was only trying to use extremely strong R&B songs on this album if I’m going to use R&B at all. Before I’d have scattered interludes and songs where I’m experimenting with things. Here I wanted to get back to 'Brand New,' 'Bria’s Interlude' days. It’s going to be really tight writing and shit that’s sexy as fuck. That’s my thing. I’m going to do the type of R&B I’m good at. With Stevie it’s hard for me to explain. It’s an incredible thing I witnessed that night. He heard a song that he saw some potential in and he added some key pieces that made it come to life.
He added, "I’ve never played a song for people and they’ve cried and gone into their own private zone in their mind where they’re really thinking about some situations that hit home. And this song has done that for me. I’ve never seen that before. I’ve heard stories where it’s like, 'So and so cried when they heard this.' And I’d be like, 'Yeah, okay, cool.' But I’ve seen people tear up listening to this song that me and Stevie did...I think me and Stevie immediately formed a relationship where he wants to see me do well. He’s expressed to me adamantly that he wants to see me succeed. He wants to see me on the moon. It’s boosted my confidence."
Drake also spoke on his evolution as an artist and as an emcee. He said that many fans tell him that he's not the same artist as he was on his smash mixtape So Far Gone. As much as he wants to cater to his fans' needs, however, Drake recognizes that he can't stay stagnant as a lyricist, and that in order to grow as a person, his approach to music will have to change as well.
"[P]eople always say 'I miss the old you.' And I take it. I go, 'I hear you man,'" he said. "I don’t ever lash out online or whatever. What’s interesting is that they don’t really miss the old me, because any real fan would want me to evolve and get better. And I think what people miss are the time markers. For a lot of people our albums are time markers...[s]o when people say that, I just think they’re saying they miss that time in their lives...With this record, I knew I couldn’t talk about 'Oh, I miss my old friends.' On Thank Me Later I said something like 'I wish wasn’t famous. I wish I was still in school.' At that time that was really how I felt. But when I listen back to it...I’m more confident now...This album is about living it and owning it and letting you know exactly what I go through. It’s not Drake on So Far Gone and it’s not Drake on Thank Me Later. I can’t go back to the old me. It’s impossible. I’m proud of who I’ve evolved into, for sure."
He added that his personal growth has factored heavily into the manner in which he writes and delivers lyrics, saying, "The other day me and 40 found a box of So Far Gone CDs - like actual CDs that we gave out around the city when I dropped the mixtape. That night I drove home listening to it and it hit me right there. As well put together and different as it was, it hit me that, 'You can rap better than this now.' It was like I told myself, 'Congratulations, you can spit better than this now.' But it’s hard for me to pat myself on the back. My arms don’t reach that far. I can’t really get a good pat. [Laughs] I’m pushing myself. I’m 24 and there are a lot of eyes on me, a lot of pressure on me. And I just want to be someone they remember. I want to speak for this generation."
The full article can be found on Entertainment Weekly's website.