After working together on both So Far Gone and Take Care, it’s safe to say that Chilly Gonzales and Drake make magical music together. Well luckily for us, the two have teamed up again alongside Jhene Aiko for a track off Nothing Was The Same called “From Time”.
If you’re not familiar with Chilly Gonzales, Drake first used a sample of one of his songs called “The Tourist” for the outro of So Far Gone. He also worked with Drake on the now classic “Marvins Room” and “Good Ones Go” from Take Care. In a recent interview with Complex he talked about how he first linked up with Drake, teaching Drake the chords to “Good Ones Go” backstage at the Juno’s, and the making of “From Time”. Check out some excerpts from the interview below.
How was it when you both linked up in person for the first time?
The public link-up finally happened when we performed together at the Juno Awards. But we had met at a private social function in Toronto in 2010 after the mixtape. There was a piano at the party and he requested I play some piano and I performed “Dot” from Solo Piano.
After that, you worked with him on Take Care. How did that come about?
After rehearsing for the Junos comedy routine that we were doing together, he started to play me tracks from Take Care in progress. I played a first take outro to “Marvin’s Room” pretty much on first listen. I thought I was just sketching out possible ideas on a digital synth for an eventual “proper” acoustic piano session….to my surprise, they just reacted so intensely to it, so that first take was the one on the album. The piano’s job on the outro is to “make the song cry” instrumentally, where words can’t express it anymore.
The first time you heard “Marvin’s Room,” what was your reaction to it?
I was affected by it and promptly played the outro, so it all happened in a blur. The voicemail was a personal touch I suppose and it led to Drake shouting me out on Twitter for the first time.
You worked on “Good Ones Go Interlude,” too.
That was a song we came up with in the studio together—Drake quietly singing to himself, Noah “40″ Shebib on beats and changing the keyboard sounds that I’m playing. Those four chords somehow broke through amongst many chambers in a longer loose improvising session.
You’ve worked with so many artists—Feist, Daft Punk, Peaches. What sets Drake apart? What have you learned from him musically? And what have you taught him?
For me what sets Drake apart is that rap music is the only contemporary music I really feel deeply, and those other artists are not in the rap genre. Other than rap it’s Romantic-era classical music that moves me…So performing with an orchestra and making music with Drake would be highest on the list of “momentous occasions,” which isn’t so bad for a song title in the end. I might use it.
I taught Drake those chords from “Good Ones Go” in his Junos dressing room on the digital piano. As far as what I learned, I got a window into his writing process. When he would come up with a hook of some kind, it would be considered a “chorus” until he wrote something better, which would push the old chorus into a kind of bridge position, and then a new hook which would push the first hook into verse position, and so on. It reminds me of how I used to marvel at Bee Gees songs which contained verses, bridges, and hooks that were all chorus-level.
Now with NWTS approaching, you worked on the track “From Time” with Jhené Aiko, how did that song come about?
I had another epic writing session with Drake and 40 last fall, and that led to some songs-in-progress, but “From Time” is a piano piece I recorded at home in Cologne, Germany and sent to him among many ideas for him to possibly get inspired by. 40 produced all of the other elements.
What was your immediate reaction to hearing the final version of “From Time” with Jhené Aiko?
I haven’t heard the finished song yet. I think I’ll hear it when it comes out.