(Photo taken from Complex’s making of Kanye’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy)

Though many would like to think otherwise the genius that is Kanye West is actually the end result of a collaborative effort. His latest album and fashion direction is no exception. The LA Times recently went onto further prove this theory by getting in touch with Kanye’s engineer, Andrew Dawson,  for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. While fashion boutique Opening Ceremony caught up with Ye’s current stylist, 19-year old Cassius Clay. (Props Al lindstrom & Aqua)

LA Times: How did you get involved with the “Fantasy” album, and what were some things you talked with Kanye about in terms of engineering and mixing it?

Andrew Dawson: “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” pretty much started New Year’s Eve 2009. He flew everyone out to Hawaii the day before New Year’s Eve … and I remember on New Year’s Eve I was in the studio getting everything ready to go for the next day. And on Jan. 1, we were getting into the recording sessions and worked pretty much 24-7 for six months straight out of Hawaii. I literally would leave to go shower, change clothes and come back to the studio. There weren’t many beach days. But Kanye went through his process and worked on it solid for a good six to seven months.

But as far as engineering, 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. He’s the master of knowing how to push things almost too far. …  I did some co-production on “Power.” I was the one who found that “21st Century Schizoid Man” sample and chopped it up.

(read more from Dawson and Kanye’s Stylist after the jump)

LA Times: Describe how you started working with Kanye West. And what do think it’s taken for you to be successful working with him prior to his latest album?

Andrew Dawson: When Kanye was halfway through “The College Dropout,” he’d fired about six to eight engineers in about a month because they weren’t up to snuff, and it was eventually my turn to be next on the chopping block. I haven’t been fired since, seven or eight years later.

Read the full interview at the LA Times.

“It was just another day of scouring the racks at Barneys for my friend, 19-year-old Yale sophomore Cassius Clay, when someone tapped him on the shoulder and complimented him for the way he was dressed. The man was Kanye West, and after a short conversation and an exchange of e-mail addresses, an unlikely relationship developed between the rapper and the cerebral Art History major. Within weeks, the self-described “babe of the woods” of southern New Hampshire who grew up and went to school near Boston had taken a leave of absence from his alma mater to become the rapper’s personal stylist and creative consultant.

Sofia Cavallo: What was your parents’ reaction when you told them you were taking a semester off from Yale to work with Kanye West?
Cassius Clay:
My father is in his 80’s and my mother in her 60’s so they’re not exactly Kanye’s typical listening demographic. Still, they could appreciate opportunity and were very supportive of a productive pause in my track at Yale. My mother made a Twitter account to follow Kanye (not me) and I’ve found both Graduation and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy in my father’s car.

SC: What were you wearing at the age of 10?
My school had a dress code of khakis with collared shirts for the younger boys. Dissatisfied with the informality of khakis, I adopted a personal uniform of exclusively white turtlenecks, grey flannel trousers, and black & white spectator shoes. I look back on it now as a dedicated engagement with minimalism (and self-caricature). Occasionally on weekends at home I would pretend to be a pharaoh with amulet and scepter.”

Read the full interview at OpenCeremony’s blog (Props Aqua via MTVRapFix)