Drake Discusses Collaborating With Stevie Wonder
Drake has been busy in the lab cooking up what will become his much-anticipated sophomore album, Take Care, which is due on his birthday, Oct. 24. And while Drake, who recently revealed that music legend Stevie Wonder has become his new musical mentor, burns the midnight oil to put the finishing touches on the project, the Toronto rapper recently spoke with Entertainment Weekly about Wonder’s role in helping him craft the album.
According to Drizzy, Wonder assisted him and producer Noah “40” Shebib in creating the song “Doing it Wrong,” a piece he said pushed him out of his typical moody pop sound and into a deeper realm of R&B.
“With Stevie it was a musical thing. I had a song that’s very powerful, it’s called “Doing It Wrong,” and Stevie boosted it to another level. … It’s a great piece of music,” said Drake. “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. … 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.”
According to Drake, the magic between him and Wonder on “Doing It Wrong” is so dynamic that some who’ve already heard it have been brought to tears.
“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,” said Drake. “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, OK, cool.’ [Laughs.] But I’ve seen people tear up listening to this song that me and Stevie did.”
Beyond Wonder’s work on “Doing It Wrong,” Drake explains that the Songs In The Key of Life singer provided his expert opinion on a few more Take Care tracks as well as some words of support and inspiration for the rapper.
“I just played him music for approval. That’s always reassuring, to be able to play Stevie Wonder music and have him say that it’s incredible. 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,” explained Drake. “… But from a singing and melody standpoint, he was proud of what 40 [Noah "40" Shebib] and me had crafted at that time. When he came to the studio to do his parts on “Doing It Wrong,” a few hours after, I made “Marvin’s Room.” It’s a great story, this album is.” –nicholas robinson