Drake tried to make his celebrity pals sound "new" when they appeared in his debut LP.

The rapper - whose new album `Thank Me Later' includes collaborations with Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z and Alicia Keys - deliberately set out to push the famous musicians out of their "comfort zones" and made them sound completely different to usual.

He told The Daily Star: "I tried to make everybody sound like a new artist. I wasn't interested in having big name guests just for the sake of it. So Jay or Young Jeezy really stepped out of their comfort zone. Jay is rapping for like 32 bars and Jee's on this song that samples Aaliyah. It's moody, it's not hard rap. Even Alicia does this phenomenal first song on the album called `Fireworks'. It's not your usual Alicia."

The 23-year-old rapper - whose record was produced by Kanye - loves the pressure which comes with working with such big names, and is already lining up more collaborations too.

He added: "It's a good pressure. It's great to be surrounded by those people because you realise that's who you're being pinned up against and at the very minimum you have to hold your own.

"When I was younger I was this huge Craig David fan. Now I'm working with Jamie from The XX, but my favourites are The Streets. I used to listen to The Streets all the time, that was my `go to' rap guy. Dizzee's dope too and White Lies are incredible."