Travis Scott is the subject of a new GQ cover story published today (November 15). In an interview conducted before the start of his Circus Maximus tour, Scott gave some insight into the creation of his new album Utopia, and how the project was informed by the 2021 Astroworld tragedy.
Thousands had gathered at the NRG Park in Houston on November 6, 2021 for Scott’s annual hometown festival. During his headlining set, ten people and thousands of others were injured by a crowd surge during Scott’s performance. “That moment for families, for the city, you know, it was devastating,” Scott told GQ. The festival was intended to be part of the rollout for the Utopia album, but the catastrophe stopped these plans in their tracks. “And when it came to making, like even finishing the album,” Scott says, “I got back into it probably like, I don’t know, months and months and months after.”
Scott says that he was “overly devastated” after the festival. “I always think about it. Those fans were like my family. You know, I love my fans to the utmost… You just feel for those people. And their families.”
Eventually, Scott returned to the album and created “My Eyes,” a song with lyrics that directly reference the events of Astroworld 2021: “I replay them nights, and right by my side, all I see is a sea of people that ride with me / If they just knew what Scotty would do to jump off the stage and save him a child.” These lyrics “came out when I was writing… it was a real moment. The song is emotional to me. It’s one of my favorite songs on the album.”
He hopes that those who listen to the song come away with a different perspective on his life. “[I want them] to know I have pain too. I have concerns, things that I think about, and the things I see on a day-to-day basis I think about them. And every day I want to find change in the things, to make things better, make myself better. It’s just like: I go through things like everyone else. And even recently through something like I never could imagine.”
A Texas grand jury ruled in June that Scott will not face criminal charges in the Astroworld case. There are, however, a number of civil suits that have been launched against Scott and Astroworld’s promoter Live Nation. The Houston Police’s full report on their Astroworld investigation was shared on July 28, the same day as Utopia‘s release.