Utopia isn’t too far away.
Travis Scott’s new album, his follow-up to the stratospheric success he found with 2018’s Astroworld, has remained a consistent topic of intense speculation for months now. And while all we currently have is a title, that’s enough to conjure therapeutic levels of excitement given the consistent gloom of the past year.
In a new i-D interview with From Dusk Till Dawn and The Mandalorian director (and fellow Texan) Robert Rodriguez, La Flame offered up some insight on where he’s hoping to take fans next.
“I never tell people this, and I’m probably going to keep it a secret still, but I’m working with some new people and I’m just trying to expand the sound,” Scott said in the interview, which boasts photography from Spike Jonze. “I’ve been making beats again, rapping on my own beats, just putting everything together and trying to grow it really. That’s been one of the most fun things about working on this album. I’m evolving, collaborating with new people, delivering a whole new sound, a whole new range.”
For Scott, it’s important to keep the focus on not repeating himself. He also explained how, for him, each album in his catalog serves as its own individual saga.
Asked if he felt pressure about delivering a new project in the wake of Astroworld, Scott said the only pressure he feels centers on providing for his fans. “There’s so much more ground I can cover, and I want to cover it, and I love the challenge of it,” he said. “I want to make a fucking new sound. I might spend days banging my head against a wall trying to figure it out, but once I do it, it’s like ultimate ecstasy.”
And as for when fans can expect to be able to pay a visit of sorts to Utopia, Scott said the project is indeed “coming soon. You can bet that.” Quarantine enabled him to be “way more productive” without concerts and travel on the agenda. “You in the crib, and I got the studio at home and I have the peace to record all day, you know? Obviously like, you lose a little bit by not being able to travel and, you know, just see the earth.”
Along with the interview, Travis released new merch for the Utopia issue. You can purchase it here.
La Flame also spoke on how fatherhood is “a major inspiration” for his creative process, his fondness for Rodriguez’s Spy Kids, the possibility of bringing back his Astroworld Festival in late 2021, recording in Mexico for a couple months (“we go through the canyons and it’s surrounded by cactuses, man”), and his recent run of high-profile brand collabs.
Asked what his “approach to collaboration in general” is, and about “the thread that unites” his variety of partnerships, Scott reflected, “You know, it’s like with Nike…those are the shoes I wear, the shoes I’ve been wearing since I was a kid. Playstation—when it was rough, when I was a kid, gaming was an escape. When I was younger and in the studio, sometimes we couldn’t really afford to eat, you know? So McDonald’s held it down. That double cheeseburger got us through those moments. But it’s about being able to create an experience, even if these are small things. These collaborations are tools in a way, pieces of everyday life, big brands that allowed us to generate ideas. In 2021 we want to keep evolving, keep generating.”
Read the full i-D piece here.
On Monday, Scott announced the launch date—March 15—for his new hard seltzer brand Cacti.