Mike Stud - Watch a Sneak Peek of Community Episode 4
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MIKE STUD BIOGRAPHY Mike Stud’s entry into music started with a crushing, life-changing blow. With dreams of being a major league pitcher, the Rhode Island native was on the fast track to a career in baseball. He earned Louisville Slugger Player of the Year honors in high school, scored a full athletic scholarship to Duke University and was selected as an All-American during his freshman year. And then it was over. After requiring Tommy John Surgery, his elbow never quite rebounded. “It felt like it never really healed completely. I was pitching and it was clear I just wasn’t as good anymore,” he recalled, his gaze tuned to the pinkish scar that spans his right bicep and elbow. But while sidelined from the mound, he started tinkering with Garageband. He crafted “College Humor,” a witty ode to undergrad hedonism as a lighthearted distraction from his sluggish recovery in 2010. The song was gimmicky, but it quickly took off. “We would play it at the baseball parties and our teammates liked it. The bars at school would start to play it. I went into that video thinking it would be the first and last video I ever shot,” he remembered. “But it went viral. It went from nothing at all to 100,000 views in a month.” “College Humor” has since been viewed more than 1.4 million times. He continued to roll out more YouTube visuals – from his early tunes “In This Life” and “Happy Ending” to a remix of Justin Bieber’s hit “Boyfriend” – that astoundingly logged millions of views. “Even after the second or third song I released, I never thought, ‘Alright, I’m going to be a rapper or a musician.’ I just wanted to keep going because I enjoyed it. It just kind of came together,” he said. “The stars aligned.” His first mixtape, 2011’s “A Toast To Tommy” (a reference to the surgery that ended his career before it began), was stuffed with more jockish, fratboy party anthems. The mixtape pulled off a remarkable Top 5 debut on the worldwide and U.S. iTunes Hip-Hop albums charts. “I think the whole time I had a certain outlook on the injury. The music was very lighthearted,” he admitted when asked about his early work. “I think the people on the Internet, who look for stuff that’s not on the radio, they want to connect with you. I realized that pretty early and you hear that in the music.” In 2012 he launched a sold-out, 20-city tour – another impressive feat for an independent act with zero previous music experience. By the time he dropped his debut effort, 2013’s “Relief,” he was a rising star pulling the sort of crowds and video views that established acts would envy. “I think the reason people even talk about me at all is because of the touring. It’s real major label artist numbers, and without any kind of promotion. It’s a huge part of what we’ve done so far and I think it will be going forward,” he said. “Relief,” showed Mike trading out fratboy rhymes for meatier substance. The album traced his rise from All-American college pitcher to his career-ending injury and his rebirth as a rapper. It reached No. 1 on iTunes Hip-Hop albums charts and, along with his formidable tour figures, forced labels to ask, “Who is Mike Stud?” There have been offers, and while he’s not opposed from switching from independent to major he believes “there’s so much room for independent growth.” “I really feel like I’ve started to crack the code in what my music should be,” he said. “I think this album might change things.” And “Closer,” his newly released sophomore effort released on Electric Feel Music (with distributed by 300 Entertainment), will undoubtedly change things for Mike Stud. Mike’s growth is immediately apparent on the record. Whether he’s jumping from the breezy flow that’s become his hallmark, to the smooth seductive vocals featured on tracks like “Movie,” the album shows an artist coming further into honing their craft. “Forget a mic, my whole life, I thought it’d be the mound,” he raps on the album’s title track. The anthemic stomper serves as its lead single. Songs like “Out Here” explore syrupy R&B textures, while “Thinking Of You” and “I’m Not Sorry” are sparkling pop jams perfect for boozy summer beach parties. But he still flexes his muscle, plenty, on the album while broadening his appeal. “I think we have a real chance of a mainstream move. There’s been a lot of college artists who appeal to college students, but have failed to get over the hump and be mainstream,” he said. “I feel like I have a real chance. I’m excited about what’s to come with this project.” Get ready to see more of Mike, too. The rapper is launching his #StudSummer tour just days after the album’s arrival. “I’m somebody who had one door closed, and I found another outlet,” he said. “If I never got hurt, I would have never made a song … I now look back on something that was such a low point in my life to a turning point for the better. I try to project that in my music.”
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