Artist Spotlight Series: Travis Thompson


staff writer

“I look like Andy Milonakis with a lot less swag” rapped Travis Thompson in his Soundcloud hit “Horchata”— a fitting way to introduce the 21-year-old Seattle-based rapper.
Thompson is a product of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ residency mentor program they started in 2015, which helps young artists from low-income families acquire what they need to fully reach their potential.
Through the project, these aspiring artists get to follow all the steps of established artists including production, songwriting and recording in a professional studio.
In most cases, the young hip-hop artists get to perform at a Seattle venue, but in Thompson’s case, he got to perform in front of a television audience of millions.
Thompson teamed up with Macklemore and Dave B to perform the hit song “Corner Store” off Macklemore’s latest album “Gemini,” on “The Tonight Show” with Jimmy Fallon.
Thompson has taken advantage of the opportunity he’s been given and the momentum he’s gained by releasing multiple consistent and quality tracks over the last year including his first EP, “Living for the Future” and an album in 2015 titled after the street that connects multiple major areas of Seattle — Burien, White Center and West Seattle — that he grew up in.
“Ambaum” was described by Thompson as a collection of “stories on what it was like to grow up where I grew up, to who I grew up with.”
“The main goal for ‘Ambaum’ was to make a project with strictly my friends that is going to make someone from Ambaum be proud of where they’re from,” Thompson said on
“I wanted to make a project that represented me to the best of my capabilities as an artist at this point.”
Thompson has always been misjudged for his flow due to his stocky stature. But his style of rap is fast, relatable and catchy.
When the music video for “Horchata” blew up on Reddit a year ago, the top comment is still “Wow. Walked in thinking cringe, walked out the opposite.”
Other comments include: “I wanted to hate this so bad” and “Came for a laugh, now I’ve played it five times this morning.”
The new line of the come-up rappers today has been dubbed “mumble rappers” who just want to get rich, but Thompson is here to change that.
The best way to describe his music is relatable.
His music is something a teenage kid or young adult can relate to, full of nostalgia from video games and TV shows. He makes regular life entertaining.
Watch out for Thompson to make a major move in the next few years after the hype from being on tour with Macklemore wears down, and his new fandom begins to build.

My Top 5 Travis Thompson Songs:
1. “Need You”
2. “Joyride”
3. “Horchata”
4. “Father Forgive Me”
5. “The End of the World”
Honorable Mention: “Corner Store”

If you want to keep up with what I’m listening to you can follow me on Twitter @Fuzznacht or search “Matt Fassnacht” on Spotify and follow the “My Rotation” playlist.

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