Steve Bartels, CEO of Def Jam, recently did an interview with Variety to discuss upcoming works from artists across the label. Variety went straight to the heavy questions asking what everyone wants to know – is Kanye West really working on new music?
“Let me ask what’s up with several of your artists. Word was that Kanye West was recording by himself somewhere in Utah — is that real?” Variety asked.
“I don’t know if that’s real or not, I read the same things you do. When we talk we don’t really get down to the granular of where he’s going and how he’s flying there, we keep it much more on a broader level. Kanye is working, that’s been widely reported. He’s always very focused, and our relationship with him is that we always have great respect for him and when he’s ready to do something or talk about something, we’re there for him, we totally support his vision and his focus, and that’s where we leave it. I check in with him from time to time just to see how he’s doing. What’s great about our relationship is that I always know when it’s go time — because he wakes me up.”
When asked if new Kayne music might come any time this year, Bartels said, “You never know. He’s always working, so maybe so. It’s never something we’re pushing — it’s always led by the creative side.”
Bartels spent the rest of the interview giving updates on other Def Jam artists including Justin Bieber, Alessia Cara, Vince Staples, and 2 Chainz. Check out the entire interview here.