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Detroit's Dwele Ready For A Big '08

Of the Oakland Press

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Dwele is ushering out a good year — and headed into one that may be even better.

The Detroit R&B singer (real name Andwele Gardner) spent most of 2007 continuing to promote his second album, 2005’s “Some Kinda ...,” and also popped up on songs by Kanye West (“Flashing Lights”), Common (“The People”) and Pharoahe Monch (“Trilogy Act 2”) and added a vocal to “Staring Through My Rear View” for a posthumous release from rap legend Tupac Shakur.

Meanwhile, Dwele’s rendition of Earth, Wind & Fire’s “That’s the Way of the World” for a tribute album is nominated for a Grammy Award for best urban/alternative performance.

“Oh, man, when I first got the information on it, I was driving and had to pull the car over. I almost crashed,” recalls Dwele, who graduated from Detroit’s Cody High School and briefly attended Wayne State University. “It’s very exciting. I’m looking forward to being there and experiencing it in person.

“And hopefully, it’s the first of many.”

Dwele will make his next bid for that with his third album, which is due in March. He says he’s “on schedule” to complete the set, which he’s been recording in Detroit, Virginia and Los Angeles. Among the songs are “My People,” which he wrote for “Some Kinda ...,” “A Few Reasons” and “I’m Cheating”; guests will include the Detroit rap group Slum Village and MC G-One, and Dwele says he’s also “talking to” West about making an appearance.

“It still seems like ‘Some Kinda ...’ just came out,” says Dwele, who’s also recorded guest appearances for new albums by AZ and Foxy Brown. “When I check MySpace, I see people’s comments — ‘Y’know, it’s been such-and-such years. When’s another album? It’s time.’ I have to sit back and think, ‘Yeah, it has been a minute.’

“It doesn’t seem like it’s been that long. I’ve been touring the album and playing the music. You take a day at a time, then you look up and the next thing you know, it’s been three or four years. So, yeah, it’s time.”

Dwele and Amel Larrieux perform at 8 p.m. Monday, New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31) at the Music Hall Center, 350 Madison Ave. Tickets are $22-$52. Call (313) 887-8500 or visit www.musichall.org.

Web Site: www.musichall.org

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