Interview: Travis Scott
published on 2 July 2017
World-renowned musician and producer, Travis Scott interviewed by Lou Stoppard for In Camera. Broadcast 2 July 2017.
World-renowned musician and producer, Travis Scott interviewed by Lou Stoppard for In Camera. Broadcast 2 July 2017.
57 Q&A Posts
- Q. Given that so many people look up to your life, I was wondering, would you say that you are happy? - SHOWstudio Editor-at-Large, Lou Stoppard
Huh, I was actually asking myself that two days ago. I could say I’m in a way better mental spot than maybe five years ago. I guess some frustrations transition to other frustrations but it’s like a better frustration and you know I don’t know if that makes sense but you know sometimes in life that may seem annoying and frustrate you the most, you know at a point of your life where you might excel and things might be going good but then you’re always trying to achieve the next goal which brings you another frustration. I think that’s what I’m dealing with and I’m still trying to deal with the balance between like the real me and my outer shell, you know.
- Q. Who’s the real you? - SHOWstudio Editor-at-Large, Lou Stoppard
I feel like it is somebody who has been misunderstood and I feel like I’m just very ambitious and I’m just like driven to go somewhere where there is like architecture and design; super high-level creativity I’m trying to just hit that level. And right now I’m just in a field like battling and just like warlord and just taking over and just like controlling my own island, you know and once I feel like my island is safe I can venture out to those ideas.
- Q. How would you articulate the difference between being a rock star and being a hip-hop artist? - Artist, Arthur Jafa
To be honest, I wouldn’t put myself in either category, they both have stereotypes right and I’m just like a person who goes against all types of stereotypes. I just create music for living that’s it. I don’t make it for specific colour or race, you know, sex, gender, but just for a lifestyle you know, now whether you deem it as rockstar or hip-hop is up to you to me it’s just like music but you know, I’m somewhere way more left in rockstar, way more left in hip-hop so I guess with that question I’m kinda, I feel I’m on my own. I feel like rockstar might be too dark and hip-hop be too conscious, you know.
- Q. Have you ever felt like there were times where you wanted to quit or music wasn’t necessarily for you; or you didn’t have faith in what you were doing? - Zach Tareke
Hell no... Hell no, ‘cause quitting is never an option.
- Q. You’ve talked about being misunderstood before, but have there been times where you have felt like people weren’t understanding it and that frustration maybe leads you to not want to continue on that path? - SHOWstudio Editor-at-Large, Lou Stoppard
That’s the shit that get me, that’s the shit that keep me going, that type of shit right there. Not being accepted is like my whole driver, like people now fuck with me and I just want to prove a point I’m not as bad as - I just wanna know what you’re gonna fuck with and you know that’s always helpful information. You know, I give that advice to everybody like if you feel like quitting is the thing, just channel the quitting to like that extra pump, the second wind.
- Q. Have you ever been annoyed by the fame that you have and this idea that money can’t buy you happiness? - Ruben Ferreira
Um yeah, shit, I was just like going through that 15 minutes ago, I was trying to go to this store and it’s like mad people surrounding the car and I can’t get out and it takes me like 20 minutes to get out the fucking car and shit and I don’t want to wait to get the fuck out of the car like I just wanted to get out the car.
- Q. So you don’t like being famous? - SHOWstudio Editor-at-Large, Lou Stoppard
It’s not just about being famous, but it’s about doing what I want to do when I want to do it, you get what I’m saying? Rules and shit, I can’t just fucking like without people filming you, I can’t just wait in line and chill with my friends and walk through the fucking amusement park without a hundred people swarming at us, you know we trying to talk and shit. It’s not all bad, all the time, but sometimes I feel like sometimes there are no boundaries about me, it’s like you know the shit you got into, I mean I just wish it was a better balance between that, but what the fuck we’ve just got to live with it.
- Q. I believe you embody a new glamour for men and I’d love to hear your views on glamour. - John Galliano
Yeah, shit they should make male makeup.
- Q. Are you going to start your own line? - SHOWstudio Editor-at-Large, Lou Stoppard
I don’t know but sounds cool, I mean I just think motherfuckers just need to be fresh at all times. I ain’t the freshest nigga, I’ve got pimples and shit I don’t clean my fingernails all the time.
- Q. You said in an interview before that “I’m not cute, I’m gorgeous”, what did you mean by that? -SHOWstudio Editor-at-Large, Lou Stoppard
- Q. Where do you write your rhymes, do you walk while doing it for rhythm, do you sit in crowds, do you do it in private? - Bjork
I make a beat wherever the shit is to make a beat, when I am on my laptop. Then I play that beat wherever I am at, so I could be like free-styling and I am in a whip. Or I am backstage somewhere or a car or fucking, you know in a hotel. We just chilling. I don’t really just put pen to pad, I stopped doing iPhone, I stopped writing shit down. My first two albums I didn’t have an iPhone and kind of just like went and kept rapping until I got my words right. I come up with ideas and shit in the weirdest of places because I feel like that is where it is at. I genuinely hate studios nowadays. It is starting to become one of the most uncomfortable places for me.
- Q. Why do you say that? - SHOWstudio Editor-at-Large, Lou Stoppard
It is cold at all times. Shit don’t work fast enough, there is too much space. I just like shit loud, sometimes the sub isn’t all that and it’s not true sound. I feel like it is kind of very misleading. You turn the music up very loud there and it sounds good and then you turn it up in the car and it’s all fucking low.
- Q. Is that why you like live performing so much because obviously people, the way you conduct yourself when you are doing your live concerts is quite infamous and is it part of the fact that the music makes more sense in that context? - SHOWstudio Editor-at-Large, Lou Stoppard
I design all of my music for shows. I think that’s the true billboard out to what I want to do. Out to my fans.
- Q. Creative direction wise for your live shows, if you could think of something that was impossible today but realistic in ten years what would it be? - Virgil Abloh
An amusement park, while I am performing. Like at the highest level of Bon Jovi. The highest level of that world tour, like actual people, moving. And keeping the barrier away from the stage and fans. Right now I feel like that seems very impossible.
- Q. When you are at your shows, do you think your perspective is completely different to that of the fans or do you feel like you are one of the fans when you are performing? - Ian Otis
Well it’s crazy. Like two days ago I was in my car, in the van and I was mad tired. Just sleepy as shit. I was like man, that was the first time, because sometimes I feel like I am a fan. Like tonight, I have a show tonight and I am into myself like yo I am about to go and see Travis Scott perform. It’s crazy. I don’t even know, like I know what my stage is but I don’t even know what it is going to look like physically, in person, in the view. So I am like yo, I can’t wait to see. I don’t know what the music is going to sound like specifically through this so i am excited to hear how loud this shit is going to be. And I am a fan of seeing the fans, like man that’s like a show. Just seeing people rock left and right, like fly, that shit is it’s own show. I am glad that I don’t have to deal with boring ass fans with niggas just sitting there looking at me like. Fucking looking like they are looking at an opera or something. You see motherfuckers, some of these motherfuckers don’t even be looking at me. The music is like.
- Q. Do you get annoyed when they are taking pictures? SHOWstudio Editor-at-Large, Lou Stoppard
Awh man, yeah but it’s like a lot of these kids, their phones are just gone. I even have this one part of the set where I tell them to put their cell phone lights up and you just see one big blank area of no cell phones, because kids just don’t bring their cell phones and you just see the outskirts. So it’s just dope.
- Q. How do you feel about the internet in the music business, so I guess the relationship between digital and music? - Anon
I think now it’s good that some of the digital stuff is catching up to like music and like really what people are listening to, the internet is always the key with everything, I love the internet, I’m not a hater.
- Q. You’re like a digital native really aren’t you? I guess you can’t, can you remember times before the internet? SHOWstudio Editor-at-Large, Lou Stoppard
Nah, I was part of the AOL gang, what’s up, you know the AOL gang we rockin'. Yeah I’m so glad I’m not part of that weak times when it was boring! But, you know I do still have a connection to that, and I do still respect, you know the culture that you know my DJ Chase B he come from that whole study of like the times when shit was analogue. I love that, I still go by that to this day. Even though I’m from the digital world I still think there’s an importance in knowing like analogue shit, I do shit on hand, I use it to this day like it's part of me, it's just my liking, you know. But, I still feel like you know digital is a super main driver, I’m in love with that too.
- Q. Can you more or less explain how drugs play a part in your creative process? - Yvette Show
Shit man, I don’t do a lot of drugs, so I don’t even know. I only think real drugs are like crack, heroin, fucking like you know meth, shit that like gets you fucked up, really gets you tweaking, if you ain’t doing that, then you ain’t doing drugs, personally like, if you ain’t doing acid and shit like that then you ain’t doing drugs, so I can’t tell you about any of that shit.
- Q. I guess cause there’s like a long history of like beat culture or whatever of people using different substances to enhance their creativity? SHOWstudio Editor-at-Large, Lou Stoppard
I think that's a myth! I think that's like weak people who need all that weird shit just to tap into their fucking brain. Like I think knowledge is power, where drugs is just like a mental cool-down.They just put me at ease. I don’t tap into drugs to like say what’s on my mind, I can do that shit sober. I am a drug sober, you know what i’m saying? I’m the most mental, I’m the most highest potent drug sober, ever. Drugs is what actually calm me down.
So I wouldn’t, I mean I wouldn’t recommend anyone to go pick up a fucking drug to like tap into their brain, I don’t think that’s where it’s at, I think it's really finding who you are, that's where you really, I mean like Steve Jobs man you be listening to these dudes talk and it’s kinda like, they go through these different levels and stages of finding where they at mentally, and I think they experimented with drugs as just like a come down because they’re dealing with so much pressure. I don’t think that was like the key to them finding things you know. Some people might do drugs and then sporadically spaz out and come up with the craziest shit possible, that's also a possibility, I don’t think that's, I think that is in them and they just didn’t know it.
- Q. Where is the craziest place you’ve ever got high? - Bella Hadid
Ha! I got it, I got it. Bob Dylan’s tour bus, parked up in Rick Rubin’s back yard.
- Q. Have some of your idols become rivals? - Lee Lavi Richardson
I’m just honestly thinking and, nah, nah. What we competing on? I don’t be looking at shit like competitions.
- Q. Which collaboration for you was the most important and is there one that you regret? - Kamil Pietryka
Is there a collaboration I regret? Nah, I don’t even think I’ve made that mistake... I don’t think I’ve made that mistake, honestly. There’s like a couple of collaborations that’s very important, Beyonce and Bon Jovi, yeah.
- Q. It seems like the majority of your projects, there’s always one song that can be related to a female. Is there a person you usually have in mind when you connect with the lyrics?- Anon
Yeah man, I’ve written albums about girls that have like fucked my whole life up man.
- Q. Is that what motivates you the most- girls? SHOWstudio Editor-at-Large, Lou Stoppard
No. It has seemed to have motivated some crazy projects and shit, nah but its not what motivates me. It be like times, it be like positions I’m in, you know at the moment man, that shit be getting me hot! Like, last time I was in a fucked up position, over some like bullshit, you know whatever, so I just have to just make an album and just get over that, that’s why I made Birds.
- Q. So it’s like therapy? SHOWstudio Editor-at-Large, Lou Stoppard
Well I was on some like, man motherfuckers like sleeping on me and shit, niggas is like, keep telling me like I need to come with some type of hit or something, I’m just trying to perform at the VMAs, I’m trying to, I’m making, I’m trying to make albums for my generation, man, you know I don’t feel like I be doing it, I’m like 2 platinum albums in, I ain’t ask for none of that, I was just trying to prove my point! You get what I’m saying? Ok, so this is my third, I’m going in on my third album, like man I can’t, I’m sorry, I’m trying to go into arenas next year, I’m already doing arenas now, and I’m trying to just like make that the, you know like highlight it, people just gotta understand Travis, you get what I’m saying.
- Q. What’s your exact goal for music, leave a legacy and pave the way for newer artists, like some of your favourites did, or is it something bigger? - Tavis Whiteside
Yeah, that’s why I started my own label, Cactus Jack. I’ve been having this in my mind, idea since I begun, but I felt like I never wanted to just put anybody in an opportunity where I really can’t help them, nah I mean, such a place where I can like help artists. Before I leave I just wanna just want to leave the whole world inspired, I just wanna leave a trail of inspiration, a timeline for when, you know I shifted culture, like the plate tectonics of this whole shit, I just scraped this shit, I’m trying to separate everything, you get what I’m saying? I just want to be attached to every point of the decade, every year. I try to do it all the time, like every year, just making a leading wave, whether I work with artist, whether I work with producers, I just try to just like transition something in something in somebody, you know, whether it's sounds or...
- Q. Correct me if I’m wrong but after listening to your work, politics don’t seem to feature prominently, however in these highly politicised times, do you feel that part of your future role is to be a voice for change or rebellion, or do you that music is not a place for that? - Nick Knight
Um, I think it is, but you know, politics is such a controversial thing and it’s so like tit-for-tat, as soon as you speak your opinion, you’re fighting a million people, and I kinda just like, I say what’s on my mind, I say what bothers me, and I feel like you know playing sidelines, when shit is going wrong, it's never a good thing. There’s definitely a lot of issues that are to be spoken out on and definitely can be dealt with, but fighting everything, and trying to be a political stand-front, and do music, for me it's just like a battle. I always think it’s important to leave a message in your music for your fans to guideline and help them to stay out the way of fuck shit. That's my political standpoint, I’m always like, lead your own moment to, what I see, what I know, now that I’m behind these walls, and like this is what I know, to stay away from fuck shit and get what your need to get to keep going, you know what I’m saying. Especially being African American in this shit, we got a lot of shit going against us, so inspiring kids, you know, I got a big, big, big fucking job. I kinda just don’t wanna like, bleed out with like the wrong message, or bleed them out with some overpowering shit they can’t even do, but I’ll tell them, yo, this is how I feel, and we need to move, and you can go with that you know.
- Q. But do you feel the pressure of being a role model, like do you feel that, that people are going to look up to you and they’re going to follow you and things like that? How do you balance that? Because you’re a very young man, like you’re still probably working things out for yourself? SHOWstudio Editor-at-Large, Lou Stoppard
Yeah, yeah. I mean it’s shit, I mean I just gotta balance it, I mean this shit hard, I’m dealing with this shit every day with shit I’m figuring out.
- Q. How has your family reacted to you becoming this huge icon in the music industry? - Brandon Crombie
Ah, you know, sometimes they get weird like, but you know they’re cool and they say people talk to them all the time, it’s cool, it’s just good to see them happy you know.
- Q. Do you think they’re very proud of you? SHOWstudio Editor-at-Large, Lou Stoppard
Hell yeah, I mean shit, they’d rather me be doing this than like, fucking up somewhere you know.
- Q. Do you think there was a moment when they perhaps wanted you to take a very different path? It must have taken quite a lot of strength of conviction. SHOWstudio Editor-at-Large, Lou Stoppard
Yeah, it wasn’t until I put out like my first album or something, that it was all like, this shit real.
- Q. How big do you feel your influence is on the fashion industry? - Jai
Um, shit, I mean hopefully it’s inspiring, you know I love fashion, but I don’t just like wake up every day and fucking jack off to this shit, I just like clothes and I like to inspire, I love being fresh as hell you know what I’m saying? I just wanna keep pushing Houston style, like real Houston style, Houston culture, shit like that you know, just keep being a big influence, yeah.
- Q. Do you think in this era of music being sort of consistently entwined with fashion, has it been detrimental to hip hop? - Ian Barnes
Well yeah, fashion’s like the front lead-in. A lot of niggas be fresh, and their music don’t even be cool, and people still fuck with them you know what I’m saying. But it’s all just like being idealistic, you know it’s a lot of fresh artists make really good music, but people like looking up to somebody that’s fresh.
- Q. I know you’ve kind of dabbled, but would you move into fashion design, like someone like Kanye has? SHOWstudio Editor-at-Large, Lou Stoppard
Yeah I mean, in a sense, I’m an artist so I just like to do everything, architecture, whatever. You know I design all my own merch, and I have collab-ed with like Ksubi, I’ve done shit with Helmut Lang, you know I do shit like that all the time. I have more shit coming this year, footwear and shit like that. But I mean it’s more like architecture, you know.
- Q. Are you still interested in taking some years off music and studying architecture? - Dozie Kanu
Yeah, me and my friend Dozie are supposed to go to Harvard, go to architecture school at Harvard...I think after my third album, yeah I’m gonna do that after my third album.
- Q. Which 5 famous people, alive or dead, would you have to dinner? - Martine Rose
Marylin Monroe, Michael Jackson, Steve Jobs, Abraham Lincoln, Jimi Hendrix.
- Q. What would you cook? SHOWstudio Editor-at-Large, Lou Stoppard
Fried chicken, macaroni, fries.
- Q. Do you think you’ve shown the rest of the world Houston’s culture? - Kevin Costillo
Not entirely. But I think this year, I’m going way more in debt to it, I’m recording my album in Houston, I’m shooting more videos there, I’m kind of doing more, I’m doing a festival in Houston, so I mean I’m working on stuff like that. I just felt like I had to just build up to this point, you know, I feel like now is the time.
- Q. How influential has being from there been on you in your work, do you feel it constantly? SHOWstudio Editor-at-Large, Lou Stoppard
Yeah, a lot. In the music and shows, and even in fashion, it’s just like Houston culture, in Britain I think it’s the leading thing right now, it’s like everyone’s in debt to it, is like a native of Houston, whether you’re from there or not you know.
- Q. Was it hard when you were there, like waking up there knowing it wasn’t really the place you wanted to be? Or that you had this hope for something more? - Anon
Man, yes, it was so hard, like looking out the window and just seeing straight land. I tell my friends that all the time, they grew up in like New York or LA and shit, it’s way different, you know it’s like a real like dream you’re looking at, looking forward to. So you know it’s super hard but that was an inspiration too, I was just painting my own picture, looking out the window.
- Q. What memories do you have of ‘the pit’? - Dozie Kanu
Haha! I have a lot of memories, my shoeboxes on my wall with the speakers in them, my blue wall. I remember I had ‘sunnyside’ written on my blue wall in chalk, I don’t know why I did that. I had a mattress, I used to have this bedset so I took the whole bedset down and pushed the mattress on the floor in the corner just to make more space. I remember my yellow speakers, my rocket fives or rocket eights or something like that, I had this big ass red bull sticker on the side of that shit, and I remember I signed that shit, and this girl I used to fuck with had her name on the left speaker and shit. And a desk, and my MacBook, and I used to ask my neighbours for their surround sound, you know you had the surround sound speakers in your house, I used to ask them for that, just the speakers I didn’t need their amp or nothing, I used to set up the speakers in my room, I had like 20 speakers in my room, I used to have like 3 amps, put them all on and just go crazy.
- Q. Do you miss that time? SHOWstudio Editor-at-Large, Lou Stoppard
Man I miss that shit so much man, I miss that shit so much. Then again I don’t miss that shit. Like I be riding lambos and that shit now like what the fuck?
- Q. Do you sometimes think about how differently your life could have gone? SHOWstudio Editor-at-Large, Lou Stoppard
Hell yeah man, I be looking outside like this shit is crazy. Shit, I’m right here with Nick Knight, you know we used to look at this niggas pictures when I was a kid, i mean this don’t make no sense man. Like SHOWstudio, this shit was like, man, those photos was like everything, I mean we used to go on the blogs and we used to look at them magazines and be like you know this nigga crazy you know the way he just makes dark look so light and vibrant and man, I can talk to this dude now! He shot my cover! You get what I’m saying, these are all ideas that I’ve been having since I was like 15, 16.
- Q. Do you think you’ve changed a lot? SHOWstudio Editor-at-Large, Lou Stoppard
Nah man, I feel like if anything I just got more crazier. I’ve seen too much. I’m even more hype. When you see it, man, it’s like, I grew up in Missouri City in Texas right, in this neighbourhood called Meadow Creek. I used to wake up, drive, go to my high school, go to Elkins, after school I’d go to my friend’s house, and we’d sit there all day on the internet, looking at everything we wanted to do. That seemed very fake and impossible, but now like 4 years later, I start going crazy, and then 5, 6 years later, you know now we start actually seeing this shit, touching this shit, and doing it, you know it’s crazy.
- Q. Do you ever worry about burning out? SHOWstudio Editor-at-Large, Lou Stoppard
Hell no, hell no..I just try to find the interest, I don’t ever want to get bored.
- Q. Daytime or nighttime and why? - Edward Enninful
Nighttime. Everything’s for real, daytime everything’s fake. No one’s ever real in the daytime. But I don’t live in the daytime, I only came out for y’all.
- Q. What advice did you have for young kids trying to make it in the music industry, and how do they stay motivated you know? SHOWstudio Editor-at-Large, Lou Stoppard
Yo listen, I know this shit sound crazy as fuck, but the realist shit that nigga Jay-Z said on his new album on signing and shit, but if you can do it all by yourself, oh my God, do it by yourself. So much more, it’s way iller. And self team shit is like the illest, that’s the shit, home studios is the most litest shit of all time dude, trust me I’m doing albums in my crib, just like you do your album in your crib, I do my album in my crib, you don’t need all that crazy shit man, just go crazy and know how to mix, and then, boom dude, fucking Soundcloud and like, get your music on fatass Youtube, let’s go!
- Q. Lots of people asked what’s the most important thing Kanye ever taught you? SHOWstudio Editor-at-Large, Lou Stoppard
Self writing. Going hard, going extremely fucking hard. And relentless, relentlessness every day bro, he practice that shit.
- Q. Where do you see yourself 10 years from now? - Kid Cudi
Man, I see myself, shit man, like at the top, somewhere with my family, and like stadiums, and like artists, just going crazy and you know I’m at my highest, I’m just at a super peak with my creativity you know, and hopefully at peace.
- Q. Which is more important to you, the family or the career? SHOWstudio Editor-at-Large, Lou Stoppard
- Q. Do you think that you’ll be a good dad? SHOWstudio Editor-at-Large, Lou Stoppard
Yeah, I think so.
- Q. How many kids do you want? SHOWstudio Editor-at-Large, Lou Stoppard
I don’t know, this is a question I’ve never thought about.
- Q. Would you want them to go into music? SHOWstudio Editor-at-Large, Lou Stoppard
I don't know, maybe like, baseball.
- Q. I guess what I’m interested in is what you define success as, like if it all finished now, are you happy with your contribution that you’ve made so far? SHOWstudio Editor-at-Large, Lou Stoppard
Yeah...I could still do more. That’s my frustration I’m ready to get it all out like arghhh!
- Q. But do you feel like you’re building a legacy? SHOWstudio Editor-at-Large, Lou Stoppard
Yeah, hell yeah. Every day I breathe.
- Q. And what do you want people to see you as? Like if you were writing your own obituary, what would you want it to say? SHOWstudio Editor-at-Large, Lou Stoppard
An inspirational creative levellist, this dude was just hitting a peak at every point, whether it was fucking shows, whether it was music, whether it was fucking covers, whether it was clothes, whether it was this, whether it was that, this dude was going fucking crazy.