Travis Scott is currently soaking in the accolades and largely positive reviews for his latest album, ASTROWORLD, and it is a hodgepodge of artists spanning the worlds of Hip-Hop, rock, and R&B. Guiding the vision for Scott’s third studio record was his longtime A&R Sickamore, who explained how the process went down in a new interview.
Sitting with Rolling Stone, Sickamore explained that ASTROWORLD was intended to be released ahead after Scott’s debut album Rodeo, but as most plans go they changed after Scott’s second album, Birds In The Trap Sing Brian McKnight was snubbed by the Grammys in 2016. Sickamore says the moment put a chip on the team’s shoulders and Scott went back to the lab to create a record that sonically captured his Houston roots.
But more than the sound, Sickamore helped to reel in the album’s big ideas along with Scott and fellow executive producer Mike Dean to bring the project to its epic heights.
From Rolling Stone:
Is it hard to achieve that cohesion when you have so many features, especially on the first half of the album?
The songs are laid out and the guys just do their parts. You walk into the studio, and there’s a script there waiting for you. Travis knows what these guys do best. A lot of these guys went and took it to another notch — that James Blake feature is like, what the f*ck. Stevie [Wonder] on the harmonica [on “Stop Trying to Be God”]. Frank [Ocean] going crazy on “Carousel” — you’ve never heard him like that, with some hard rapping. They’ve been cool for a long time; they did a couple ideas for the album.
We also put Swae Lee on songs back to back; the Weeknd on songs back to back [to add to the cohesion]. That’s not an accident.
How did you get Stevie?
Travis did Stevie’s kid’s 16th birthday party. The conversation just started from there. Stevie came to the studio one day and it was magical man. He came at 11 p.m., 12 p.m. with the harmonica and just played on a bunch of records. That was the one that really stuck. That might have been the peak moment of my A&R career watching that.
Check out the rest of the interview by following this link.