Drake’s Music is what everyone’s talking about these days and he continues to create in the sutdio, when most would think he would be enjoying the success from his first debut album Thank Me Later. But Drake is a man on the move. Artistically and literally.
“I’m actually in the airport right now,” says the 23-year-old Toronto rapper from Montreal. “We’re waiting to get on a plane.”
A delayed flight could be one of the bigger setbacks the young superstar has faced in his meteoric career. In little over a year, former Degrassi cast member Aubrey Graham has not only reinvented himself as a musician, he has become one of the biggest names in pop, along with a lady named Gaga and a kid named Justin.
In December, the Lil Wayne protege was nominated for Grammys. in April he snagged two Junos. And his debut album — the platinum chart-topper Thank Me Later — wasn’t even released until June. Talk about life in the fast lane.
But Drake sounds like he’s already up to speed and looking down the road. He’s crafting his next album, striving to evolve as a performer and even pondering life beyond the rap game. Between all that and between Canadian dates on his Away From Home Tour, the intelligent and forthright artist also found a second to talk about his career, his city and his potential.
Has your success truly sunk in yet?
I’ll let it sink in when I’m like 32 or 33, when I’m done being a rapper and have moved past it. I want it to sink in at a point where I can look back at it. I don’t want it to sink in while it’s happening, because I really want to keep going like I have. I have this desire to grow. What’s going on now in my career was unfathomable at one stage, and now that it’s happening, those corny things your teachers and parents said to you that anything’s possible, those statements that seem so cliche seem so relevant right now. So I just continue my life with that in mind.
When you move beyond rap, what’s the long-term plan?
Well, I care a lot about my city, Toronto. I definitely want to become a staple in that city. Whether it be opening a restaurant or a hotel, I just want to add to the city and the life of Toronto. And I want to act, obviously. And hopefully, if my mind is still functioning the way it is now, I’d still like to be writing music and making music. I just don’t know if I’ll be rapping.
How much pressure did all the early acclaim and hype put on you when it came time to make Thank Me Later?
Honestly, getting the nominations and selling the records is never pressure. The pressure would be not selling the records and not getting the nominations. I never fear the challenge of having to deliver. My judgment and ear for music are good, I think. And I’m surrounded by amazing talent. My big thing now is getting better. I listen back to Thank Me Later and think, ‘What could I have done to make it bigger?’
What have you learned?
I had a lot of long verses on that album. Thank Me Later was me feeling: ‘I have so much to say. It’s my first album. People are expecting so much; I can’t just rap for 16 bars, I gotta rap for 32 bars.’ And the label was telling me to do 13 songs, and I insisted on doing 15. Even within those 15 songs, there’s other songs that come in midway or at the end; it was a very complex project. But for my next album, which I’m already working on, I’m going to take it to another level. I want to get better at rapping. I want to say better things. I just really want to outdo myself. And if I can incorporate potent 16-bar verses with hooks that are as infectious as Find Your Love, I feel like that’s a great formula. I don’t want to make five and six-minute songs. I want to have songs where the hook comes around more often and it’s easier to learn.
You could be touring arenas in the U.S. but you’re doing smaller venues in Canada. Is that because you’re still finding your feet as a performer?
You know, I watch a lot of DVDs on the bus — Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Eric Clapton, Elton John, Jimi Hendrix. I watch great performances day in and day out, trying to connect to something that will enhance my own performance. I can honestly say that for a hip-hop show, we have one of the best shows going right now, as far as seeing a live band do a phenomenal job of not only recreating songs, but adding to the feeling of songs. But the idea with the venues is that things have happened so quickly and I just don’t want it to happen too quickly. You’re right; I could go into amphitheatres and maybe even stadiums in some cities. But it’s something I want to save, something I want to grow to. I want to deserve to be in those venues. I guess I’m just not ready for people to be sitting in the 500 section and watching my show. I don’t feel like I’m there yet.
You talk a lot about growth and learning and evolution. It seems you see your current success as a starting point rather than an achievement.
Yeah, definitely. For a lot of individuals, where I am is the objective the moment to raise the trophy and say, ‘We did it.’ But I think I understand a lot more about this industry now that I’m here. My biggest priority is longevity. I see now that that is the key. The people that last transcend generations. There are people who had success and let it go. So the success I’ve achieved thus far is great, but I know people could forget about it all tomorrow. They can forget they ever loved Drake or how Thank Me Later made them feel. And I can’t let that happen. I won’t let that happen.
Source: Toronto Sun