Drake Talks 'More Life,' NBA Awards, & Late Night TV Goals
Notorious for granting few interviews at this stage in his career, Drake surprised fans by appearing on an hour-long episode of “Cal Cast,” a podcast hosted by Drizzy’s mentor, University of Kentucky basketball head coach, John “Coach Cal” Calipari.
The in-depth interview focuses on a variety of topics, including Drake’s early success with “Degrassi,” but it also features new information about Drizzy’s upcoming More Life “playlist.”
“It’s something I’m doing in conjunction with Apple,” said the 6 God. “Usually, in between albums, artists would do a mixtape but I’m doing a playlist with Apple. It’s sort of the same concept. It’s not an album but it is a body of work I’m creating, just to bridge the gap between my major releases, to keep people excited, give people new music, let people know I’m still hungry.”
According to Drake, the More Life process has also reinvigorated his musical goals. “In working on that, I had to ask myself the other day, ‘Why are you doing, not only this project, but why are you still doing music? What are you still doing it for?’ This was my conclusion,” he said. “I’m doing it to be remembered as a forward thinker. I want to be remembered, much like those people we just discussed [Aaliyah and Bob Marley] as an emotion-evoking artist. I want to say things I want people to remember me by. That conversation with self set me on anew path musically and I’m excited to move forward.”
In the past, he says he’s faced hitmaking expectations, but now, he feels he’s on a different path. “I finally have taken a deep breath, exhaled, let all that pressure go, and now I just want to make music that I’ll want to live with forever,” he added. “Not that I haven’t in the past, but to reevaluate that goal. That’s a big thing for me, musically. Acting is another thing that I can’t wait to dive into after I release More Life, the playlist I’m working on, and finish this [‘Boy Meets World’] tour. I think I’m gonna really start to position myself in the acting world and hopefully take some great roles. I’m working on producing things and developing. That’s really exciting.”
Part of that initiative, he revealed, is a new award show for the National Basketball Association. “I’m actually producing and hosting the first annual NBA Awards this year,” he said. “I get to take the reins on it…I love hosting. I love being in a room full of iconic legendary people I look up to and having that pressure to make them laugh and enjoy their evening. Hopefully that will go well.”
The 6 God seems serious about that role. In fact, he says that hosting is part of his industry end game. “My end goal, crazy enough, is I want to do like, another person I really look up to and a point in time that I miss is Johnny Carson and the appeal of that sexy late night TV that’s funny,” he said. “As I continue on along this journey, I hope to get there one day as well, where I get to put on amazing suits every night. I just want to put on Tom Ford every night and sit with a glass of wine and laugh with people I’ve spent years with in the industry or friends of mine and give people something to watch every night that makes them feel good. Hopefully I’ll get there.”
Listen to the interview and see more highlights from the conversation below.
On work ethic: “Doing long runs is kind of the norm for me. I’ll sleep for like 6 hours and try to get a 14-hour run in on any given day, really. But when a project’s coming to a close, we’ve gone to extremes to finish things. I’ve had an air mattress set up in the recording space where I’ll try to grab 20 minutes here, an hour here. I’ve gone five days straight without a solid 6 or 8 hour sleep. Just like everything else in life, it’s just about the time you’re willing to put in.”
On his biggest fear: “My biggest fear is always, when I’m not doing it, there’s someone else that’s doing it. When I take a night off for my personal life or when I choose to decompress or relax, in the front of my mind, my biggest fear is, there’s somebody that’s not relaxing right now and they’re gonna stumble upon something.”
On Sade: “40…got an amazing opportunity early on in my career to work with Sade on a remix to one of her songs. I was this close to being on it, but at that point in my career, she went and put Jay Z on it, which is obviously understandable…But I missed that. A Sade moment. My star wasn’t there yet for her to hear me out. Since then, we’ve had a great relationship.”
On Bob Marley: “I definitely would have loved to sit with Bob Marley. I’ve listened to his music my entire life. I’ve studied his life. Listening to him speak in interviews I’ve seen, knowing what he stood for, I would have loved to understand where his mind was at and sat and talked with him. Working together is a whole ‘nother story. If I could sit in somebody’s presence and just build, that would probably be the guy. Him or Aaliyah.
On Aaliyah: “I’m obviously a huge Aaliyah fan. She’s part of the reason why I decided to sing and rap, stemming form a conversation I had with my dad about how Aaliyah, as a woman, can make music you don’t necessarily feel self-conscious to listening as a man. With a lot of female singers, sometimes, you feel like the music is so geared towards a female audience that you kind of feel weird listening to it. Aaliyah just blurred that line and I tried to do the same thing from a male perspective. I would make music for women to listen to but guys wouldn’t feel uncomfortable playing it. She was a big inspiration for me. I would have loved to sit with her and work with her. If I could work with anybody and it would sound the way I pictured it, it would probably be Aaliyah.”