He has a record deal with Columbia Records, over 225,000 Facebook fans, and a spot on Vans Warped Tour…and California native T. Mills is just getting started.
This tattooed talent is sure to make some big waves this year. He took some time out of his schedule to talk to us about his rise to stardom, piercings, shopping habits, and what his fans can look forward to in 2012.
Independent Philly: When did you realize you wanted to make music for a living? Who were some of your earliest influences?
T. Mills: I couldnt comprehend what making a living was at five, but i was in the backseat of a car with my cousin, and i told her i’d be on the radio one day. I’m sure a lot of kids say that, but to have it come true is crazy. My uncle showed me Bone Thugz at an early age, as well as Tupac and Big. I credit him for getting me into hip-hop, rap, and R&B. My mom got me into QUEEN. I loved the bicycle song.
IP: What advice would you give to other “bedroom” artists who are looking for their big break?
TM: Keep working, take chances, and dont sign anything without solid representation.
IP: Describe the feeling you had when you got the invite to appear on the warped tour…
TM: It’s always a good feeling when you get invited to perform somewhere, and I went to my first warped tour at (age) 14 and loved it! I feel like this summer is going to be great for my fans that I haven’t been able to play near. It gives me a chance to go across the country in two months and be a part of something that captures youth culture in its rawest form.
IP: What size gauge do you have in your ears?
TM: An inch and 1/8.
IP: How many tattoos do you have, and what are they of? Do you have a favorite?
TM: Haha i havent actually counted. My favorite tattoos I have right now would be (on) my knuckles and they say “patience”. It’s something im constantly working on.
IP: You released your album “Leaving Home” last year through Columbia Records. When can your fans expect your next release?
TM: I’ve been working on a mix-tape at the same time as the album. The mixtape will come soon and within three months I’m putting out another EP. After the EP I’m putting out the full length. I’m only halfway in right now and taking advantage of recording everyday. im also touring, shooting videos, and dropping viral songs to keep it movin’.
IP: What music is getting the most play on your IPOD these days?
TM: I’ve been listening to a lot of ASAP Rocky, Broken Bells, Al Green, The Smiths, My New Songs, and Minus the Bear… I also just got a record player and my vinyl collection is growing rapidly!
IP: What’s been your biggest rock-star moment to date? What is the craziest thing you’ve seen at one of your shows?
TM: Right after I got signed I bought a bunch of stuff that I probably shouldn’t have… iPad, two xbox’s, a few Louis Vuitton belts and wallets, a vintage Rolex, and some vans! As for crazy things at shows, a guy came up during one of my meet n’ greets and asked me to propose to his girlfriend for him. When she came up I asked if she would marry the guy and she said YES.
IP: If you had your choice of any living artist to collaborate with, who would you choose (and why)?
TM: KANYE & Travis Barker. No explanation necessary.
IP: What’s your worst habit you’re willing to admit to?
TM: It was smoking cigarettes but I stopped. I’ve had to stop a few times, but this last time was for good. It was an off & on affair since I was fourteen/fifteen.
IP: What are some of your other passions aside from making music?
TM: Clothes in any way, shape, or form. I’m a denim enthusiast and spend all my money on jeans!
IP: Tell us something that would surprise, or even shock our readers…
TM: I have a cleaning disorder.
Check out T. Mills’ track “The Boom” from his “Leaving Home” EP below: