Travis Scott has, to date, entered the Billboard Hot 100 a total of 20 times, but according to the 25-year-old artist-producer, crafting hit singles isn’t really his bag.
“I don’t try to make [music] for anybody else. I don’t really do singles,” he told Alex Gale in an interview with Billboard.
While Travis’ declaration that he’s an “album artist” might fly in the face of his past charting success, as Gale points out in the Billboard feature, only seven of his Hot 100 entries feature Travis as the lead artist. “Antidote,” the second single off Scott’s 2015 album Rodeo, is his highest-charting solo entry to date, peaking at No. 16 in December 2015, and that song wasn’t even supposed to appear on an album until its popularity as a loose release prompted its inclusion in the final tracklist.
Scott is currently signed to Epic Records—who in the past has been accused of manipulating streaming service playlists specifically push singles—but based on Gale’s conversation with label president and industry veteran Sylvia Rhone, it doesn’t sound like the label is pushing Scott to be someone he’s not.
“Unlike a lot of artists who think it’s just about putting out commercial records, Travis was always true to himself,” Rhone explained to Gale. “He was always less concerned about radio hits. He embraced his core fans.”
Scott isn’t the only major label artist who has recently spoken out against making music that only plays into the hands of the playlist-driven singles culture that the industry has used to generate billions in new money. Vince Staples, who is signed to Def Jam, has been following this approach for several years, as has Aftermath signee Anderson .Paak.
Fresh off the joint release of his Huncho Jack, Jack Huncho collaborative album with Migos member Quavo, Scott is preparing for the still-pending 2018 release of his third solo studio album, Astroworld.