Detroit singer Dwele released his fourth album, “W.ants. W.orld. W.omen. (W.W.W.),” this year, but most heard him via his contribution to “Power,” the first single from Kanye West’s chart-topping “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.”
“I was actually working on (‘W.W.W.’) when I got that call to come work with him, and there’s no way I’m gonna turn down Kanye and Hawaii,” recalls Dwele (real name Andwele Gardner), 32, who had previously appeared on West’s 2007 single “Flashing Lights.” “We flew out a couple days later, and it’s always great working with Ye because he knows exactly what he wants.
“He had his concept and how he wanted it to sound, and this time around I added a few things — a few harmonies here and there, a couple sprinkles but nothing overbearing. We really wanted to keep it natural and kind of minimal.”
“(W.W.W.)” debuted at No. 28 on the Billboard 200 and No. 9 on the Top R&B Hip-Hop Albums chart, launching its own hit with the title track. But Dwele’s profile benefited from yet another gig last year; he was the voice of McDonald’s McCafe coffee campaign, a “very impactful” placement even if he has to endure a bit of “grief” over it.
“Yeah, every now and then you get people coming up to you and they say, ‘ba da ba ba ba ... McDonald’s!’ or you say something and people say, ‘Ah, I’m lovin’ it!” notes Dwele, who’s also been venturing into music video production and hopes to makes clips for each of the songs on “W.W.W.” as well as continue work on a feature film he’s been pursuing for a few years.
“People have jokes, but for the most part it’s cool. It comes to be expected. At least they know it’s me.”
Dwele performs Friday, Dec. 31, at Ignite in the MGM Grand Detroit, 1777 Third St. DJ Whip will work the turntables before and after the performance. Tickets are $58.50 and include a champagne toast. Call 313-465-1650 or visit www.mgmgranddetroit.com.
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