Engineer Anthony Kilhoffer, a name very familiar to studious Kanye fans, recently gave an in-depth interview covering his experiences in the industry. His longtime Travis Scott connection is particularly worth hearing about.
From the jump, the First Gen label founder was asked by the Vancouver-based Kids Take Over about his early exchanges with La Flame over email. Kilhoffer said Scott held his attention because he "continually kept making good music," pointing out his "Lights (Love Sick)" video as "the one." Later, Kilhoffer elaborated a bit further on his original plans for Scott prior to the Ye collaborations.
"I was trying to get Travis to be more of a beat maker for me, like somebody to collaborate with musically," he said. "That was my first intentions." He also gave a huge shout-out to agent Cara Lewis, crediting her with getting Scott to the next level. "That's what really made his career," Kilhoffer said.
Speaking later about the importance of youth culture and how younger artists end up working with people like Kanye West and Kid Cudi, Kilhoffer explained the unique experience of listening to music from someone directly influenced by someone from that circle.
"There's only so many people in that social circle, right, that they allow in and trust and maybe they aren't listening to 18-year-old kids from Nebraska that are cooking up just shit that they think is, you know . . . what they're doing is giving you back what they're taking in from the Travis album or whatever or the Sheck album," he said. "They're trying to spit it back to you as their interpolation and since they are the ones that are consuming it, that's how I look at it."
Of course, this type of insider interview wouldn't be complete without a First Time I Met Kanye story, and this one doesn't disappoint. Kilhoffer recalled first meeting West, with whom he would go on to work on multiple projects, during a session for Floetry. "I'm gonna be the greatest rapper of all time," West is said to have told Kilhoffer at the time.
Kilhoffer's additional credits include multiple Cudi albums, including Man on the Moon and Passion Pain and Demon Slayin', as well as seminal works from John Legend and Rick Ross. See the full Kids Take Over discussion, which also includes plenty of advice for those looking to break into the industry themselves and some fascinating The Life of Pablo talk, above. For timestamps, consult the YouTube description.