Drake Reveals Aaliyah’s Influence on His Career

Since sampling Aaliyah on his debut album ‘Thank Me Later,’ it is evident that Drake is a huge fan. Last year he even wrote a letter to her on the ninth anniversary of her passing. This time around, in light of Aaliyah’s 32nd birthday that just passed, [SoulCulture] caught up with Drake while he was on tour in Manchester and he reveals what Miss Haughton meant to him and his career:

“Aaliyah has had probably the most impact on my career,” he states, “because when I made a choice to start singing it was because of something that my father had told me which was, ‘There’s no rapper out there that sings and raps and does both things well… and in order to be successful you’re gonna need something other than just what everyone else is doing’.

“I was rapping already at the time so I had an identity in rap, but when I started singing I needed something to reference. I needed someone to be like, ‘I wanna be like that’. I didn’t want it ever to be a male because then I would sound like that person, so I just found comfort in all of Aaliyah’s music and her melody choices and the things that she talks about – and how she always conveyed these amazing emotions but never got too sappy, she always kept it G.”

“She almost spoke from a guy’s perspective at points and she’d say things that were funny, things that were witty… I felt like that was the first time I could really sing a woman’s lyrics and not feel like I was singing a woman’s lyrics because she was speaking generally.”

He adds, “That had the biggest influence on my music because – as much as my music may be geared towards women – I try not to make it so that only women can sing it.

“I try to put pieces in where guys don’t feel uncomfortable singing a song about women… and I get that from Aaliyah.”

Before wishing Aaliyah a thankful happy birthday Drake concludes, “She taught me that there’s a certain way to make music so that it can be appreciated by a lot of people.

“Aside from that, she just made phenomenal music and she was beautiful and she was a girl that I fell in love with early in my life – I feel like if she was still here I would probably be pursuing her in a major way, you know, because I was truly in love with her very early on.”


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