For Journal Register Newspapers
Drake had one goal for this summer's Club Paradise Tour -- to throw a party.
With a package that includes J. Cole, Waka Focka Flame, Meek Mill, 2 Chainz and French Montana, Drake says "I don't want it to feel like a bunch of opening acts and then the headliner. With the stage, every act that comes out, something about the stage changes...It's going to keep people's attention.
"It's going to be an energetic and very interesting evening for sure. We've got a lot of different elements with hip-hop music, and with myself you get a flip side of singing and melody and R&B. I was really trying to cover all bases and bring the most exciting, young, refreshing acts to the stage in one place, one night."
The evenings are also ripe for collaboration. For instance, Drake and Montana feature together on Rock Ross' "Stay Schemin'," while Drake guests on Waka's "Round of Applause" and 2 Chainz's "No Lie."
"I know a lot of these guys very well. Not only am I a fan of their music, but I have very strong alliances with these guys," says Drake, 25, who was born Aubrey Drake Graham in Toronto and came to fame as an actor, in Canada's "Degrassi: The Next Generation," before becoming a Grammy Award-nominated and Juno AWard-winning music sensation as part of Lil Wayne's Young Money Entertainment collective.
"I guess it's safe to say now that anybody I didn't have a song with before I have a song with now. I made sure of that. I want to go out on the tour with the most exciting artists right now and I want to make sure I have songs all of them."
Drake plans to have some new songs of his in the near future, too. After debuting at No. 1 and scoring platinum-plus sales with both of his albums -- 2010's "Thank Me Later" and last year's "Take Care" -- he's already working on his third, which he promises will be different from the acknowledged "down" tone of "Take Care."
"I'm in a very, very, very, very different place than I've ever been," he says, "really focused on myself, really focused on my health, my body, my mind, really wanting to be the best I can possibly be...It's going to be a very interesting album -- probably, to be honest with you, conceptually one of the most exciting projects I've worked on, just 'cause there's so many new things going on in my life."
Drake's Club Paradise Tour plays at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 30 at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $59.75-$109.75 pavilion, $35.75 lawn. Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.
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