What was it like being a muse for this project for W?
Drake: It’s the first time I’ve ever been a “muse,” but I’m used to collaborating. Curiosity is the best part of working with any kind of artist. You want to see how somebody else’s process works. It’s like learning a secret. My mother was a teacher, and she brought all kinds of things into our house. So I learned early on that inspiration could come in many forms, from many people.
Were you raised around art?
We didn’t really have paintings on the walls, but I grew up with album covers! I loved the Marvin Gaye cover for What’s Going On. It made me want to hear the music, to be in that world. I liked anything visual that pulled me into the music.
You still live in Toronto. Most people leave…
Really? Most people I know stay in Toronto. I plan to spend the rest of my life there. The talk, the smell, the sound that comes out of that city is home to me. When I think about the girls I want to get romantic with, it’s a girl from Toronto who knows what I’m talking about when we drive around the city.
When you wrote, “I signed up for greatness,” what exactly did you mean?
Realizing that I had a larger purpose was one of the most comforting, peaceful feelings. With music, especially, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m a vessel to deliver emotion to people. I want to provide the background music to your life as you live it. I’m there for you in heartbreak and tragedy and joy. The thought of being remembered is what keeps me going. What I was trying to say is, the negatives don’t matter—it’s history that counts. At 19, I was just really, really excited to be in the room. Everything was romantic then. Now, nearly a decade later, it’s a bit different. I have to speak against negativity and conflict. There’s so much b******* that you’re forced to address, but it’s okay. I’m afraid I sound boosie.
What does “boosie” mean?
It’s a Toronto word. It means “talking that talk.” So, I should stop being boosie…let’s go back to art!
Okay! Do you sing in the shower?
I don’t really sing, but I do practice answers to questions in the shower. I talk to myself. I use my shower time to figure out how to respond to the world.
Water is an antidote to the pressures of your life.
Actually, I love pressure! I’m always thinking, How do I top what I’ve done? How do I make this thing stronger? I ask myself, “Why does Adele’s album go diamond, and how do I do that? How do I create art that makes minds stretch further?” I want to give many, many people many, many moments before I’m gone. That’s truly the art of what I do. It’s the only goal.
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