The-Dream Feels Challenged by Kanye West

Beyoncé, Mariah, and Rihanna may all be satisfied customers of The-Dream, but when it comes to making music, the only artist that motivates him to do better is Kanye West.

The singer-songwriter shared his love for his “Walkin’ on the Moon” collaborator in an interview with The New York Times. “I love Kanye. He’s literally the only person that challenges me,” he revealed. “He has an overwhelming love for music also, and that’s why he’s misunderstood. The boy is a genius. You can be mad all you want, but he loves what you listen to more than you love it.”

The-Dream, who lost his mother to cancer in 1992, admitted to feeling emotional when he heard that Kanye’s mom had passed away. “When he lost his mom I cried,” he said.

The hitmaker, whose third album Love King is due June 29, also shared his appreciation for ’40s jazz singer Peggy Lee, whose music he discovered at Starbucks. His other favorites include Coldplay, Mariah Carey, and Aaliyah.