Interview: Travis Mills

From the interview archives.

American hip hop artist Travis Mills began writing music when he was 17 and it wasn’t long before he landed his first recording contract. VULKAN caught up with Travis to talk about his new music and how his career took a surprising turn to runway modeling and acting. 

You seem to be influenced by a pretty eclectic mix of artists. Have you been experimenting with any new genres lately? 

I’m always experimenting, finding new pieces of gear. One thing that I’ve started is co-producing on my songs which I never really got to do before. It’s been fun to physically shape a song instead of just throwing suggestions to a producer. 

Is there anyone you’re listening to now that your fans might be surprised to hear?

Haha I don’t know what’s a surprise anymore. I’m currently listening to SZA, Gucci, Father John Misty, Rex Orangecounty… 

Do you have a new tour in the works?

Nothing currently. I’ve been so focused on my new music and getting it right to put together a new live show. I go to South America once a year and that’s always an experience. 

Would you ever want to have your own weekend festival, ala Drake’s OVO Fest?

I think every artist dreams of putting something together at such a scale like that. Of course I would, when the time is right. 

What producer do you want to work with that you haven’t had a chance to yet?

Mike Dean.

You were a big fan of punk rock growing up, any plans to explore that genre again in the future?

I don’t think I’ll ever start a “punk” band again haha, but it’s more about lifestyle to me than anything. How you handle shit. I’ve always come from the DIY mentality and background as well as all my friends. That’s what has allowed me to stay creative and thriving this long. 

When you got involved in music full time, did you ever think it would lead to runway modelling?

NEVER. I’ve always had such a deep appreciation for clothes and fashion, but never had the means to wear designers. I always took whatever I could and made outfits work. When Rochambeau asked me to walk last year, I was scared sh*tless at first. Then I looked at it like walking out to one of my concerts and was like, “let’s do this.” 

You found yourself last year on one of GQ’s best dressed lists. What would you say really influences your sense of style?

How I’m feeling. It’s all about feeling.

Have you always been into fashion or did you just sort of fall into it as you got older?

I would say I’ve always loved fashion but never fully appreciated it or understood it. I still don’t. I’m always learning. but I was the kid who all the homies would ask to borrow clothes from. 

You made your acting debut on Flaked last year. How was that experience working with Will Arnett?

I’m a huge Arrested Development and Bojack Horseman fan so it was a dream to work with Will. My first audition was with him in the room, and I had never auditioned with a seasoned actor before, but I think that’s what helped me get the part. He called me to tell me I booked the part and the whole time I was talking to him I swear I was talking to Bojack. 

Are you starting to feel the acting itch again yet?

I wouldn’t call it an “itch.” I enjoy it doing it so much. I’m happiest on stage or on set. 

Is there anything you’ve learned from the modeling or acting realm that you feel helps you with your music career?

I think they all super serve each other. Being comfortable behind a lens helps with each of those. It’s important to be multi faceted.

What is the most abstract tattoo you have?

I have some sacred geometry on my leg that doesn’t mean anything really, just felt like it fit. 

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