Drake and the art world collide for the cover of W Art. The “Hotline Bling” rapper serves as a muse to a diverse group of five artists for the magazine’s special edition.
On the cover, he poses behind a colorful KAWS illustration and transforms into a 3-D-printed action figure (inspired by selfies) amongst giant KAWS “Companion” sculptures. Other artists who interpreted the 6 God include Mark Flood, Henry Taylor, Katherine Bernhardt, and Jim Joe.
While Drake didn’t have much art on the walls growing up, he was a fan of album art. “I loved the Marvin Gaye cover for What’s Going On,” Drake tells writer Lynn Hirschberg. “It made me want to hear the music, to be in that world. I liked anything visual that pulled me into the music.”
But he is no stranger to the art world these days. He was commissioned by Sotheby’s auction house to create a soundtrack for an exhibition and private sale of works by African-American artists including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Theaster Gates, Wangechi Mutu, and David Hammons.
In addition to showing his artsy side, the former “Degrassi” star spoke about getting back into acting, his undying love for Toronto, whether he sings in the shower, and topping Adele.
On acting: “I can’t wait to get back into acting. No one ever asks me to do movies, and, although music is my focal point now, I’d love to do a film. That was the life that I lived before, and it would be interesting to live it again.”
On art: “The art at Sotheby’s moved me like a song would. I saw music in those paintings. I now try to treat each single as a piece of art. I try to attach the sound that I’m making to an image in my mind.”
On Toronto: “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.”
On his purpose: “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.”
On singing 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.”
On dealing with pressure: “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.”