Francis and the Lights opened up for Drake more than 30 times during the Toronto rapper's Away From Home Tour, but in the lead-up to what should be a somewhat smaller show at S.O.B.'s on Thursday (August 12), the band says expectations have made it seem like anything but a regular gig.
"I really feel like it's my debut show in New York, even though it really isn't," frontman Francis Farewell Starlite told MTV News. "I feel like some aspect to it ... I'd be lying if it didn't have something to do with the idea of who is gonna be there — press- and music business-wise. But I also can't have any expectations of that. But that would be exciting, if it was blown up in that way."
The show is in support of their newest effort, It'll Be Better, the band's third, and most ambitious, project to date. After two EPs, Francis, a veteran of the New York City performance circuit, set about working on Better, a collection of stripped-down tracks and searing vocals.
In addition to Drake, Ryan Leslie is another champion of the singer. And Kanye West posted the singer's cover of "Can't Tell Me Nothing" on his blog last year. Francis called the support, particularly from Drake, "overwhelming." But, he added, he's completely prepared for all of the attention that often comes with such a heavy co-sign.
"It's humbling in that way," he explained of Drake, whom he collaborated with on Thank Me Later's "Karaoke."
"It's someone whose work you admire and it means something to you. In that way, it's almost overwhelming. I think that's the word for the amount that he has brought me to the forefront. It's overwhelming. But at the same time, I'm ready for it. And it feels right to me. And I accept the challenge that it brings."
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