While the completion of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was ultimately dictated by Kanye West himself, it’s clear that he had many great minds around to help shape its creation. One such individual was Grammy award-winning mix engineer Andrew Dawson, who spoke with the Los Angeles Times about his creative process working with Yeezy.
Serving as an engineer for West since his 2004 seminal debut The College Dropout, Dawson has witnessed the musical transition within the Chicagoan rapper/producer, which has crested with his latest album. “Kanye wanted to do a complete departure from the standard format of Hip Hop albums,” he said. “The cool thing for me was that I got to throw out all of those pop conventions where we had to have a four-minute song and have a hook come in the first minute. It was very free-form working on the album. So the key thing was trying to capture it without getting in the way and trying to let [West] express his ideas as easy as possible.”
Referencing the Rock sample of King Crimson’s “21st Century Schizoid Man” used for the album’s first single “Power,” he added, “There are certain sounds and certain production aspects that he really likes. If there’s a sound or an idea he wants, he’ll take it to, like, an extreme, to where you start to wonder, ‘Why is this so far out there?’ Then he’ll pull it back to a perfect amount.”
With the monumental accomplishment of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy in the rear view mirror, Dawson says his next project will be with Doomtree member P.O.S. “He’s a friend of mine going all the way back to high school, and he just reached out to me earlier this year and said he wanted me to produce his entire album.”
You can read the full interview here.