Pop music is yet to see the creative likes of an artist like T. Mills. Unlike any other artist before him, he brings unbridled passion to his genre-bending confections and enrapturing performances – as well as a deep connection to innumerable fans across the globe.
His free album Leaving Home, released July 22nd, serves as an audible snapshot of his growth since 2010’s Ready, Fire, Aim! The Riverside, California native packs a gang of styles into his songs by channeling his childhood heroes – Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Blink-182, Nirvana – and mashing them with current inspirers Placebo, Massive Attack and The Teenagers. The result: feel-good music that spins pop on its head.
“I’m the most proud of this body of work. This is the most excited I’ve been to drop music,” explains the 22-year-old, née Travis Tatum Mills. “This whole record is a transition.”
Touting contributions from Colin Munroe, Neal Pogue and France’s So Fly & Nius, the project is the outcome of 140 songs recorded in Los Angeles pared down to a solid 10 cuts. Synth-splotched beats cozy up to his journal-mined rhymes, evidenced on the smooth “Hollywood” and revved up “Vans On,” a song that rocks even harder during his stellar live show.
“My favorite song to play live is ‘Vans On.’ That’s just a fun song, period,” says T. Mills, whose genuine passion for music shines through during performances. “It’s fun to listen to. It’s funny, it’s feel good, it’s cool, it’s offensive, it’s in-your-face.”
His organic, yet polished tracks have helped build his growing fan base. With 65,000 followers on Twitter, more than five million views on YouTube and 160,000 likes on Facebook, T. Mills interacts with fans across the world, helping him understand what they want to hear and make music that will spur his listeners to spread the word.
“My fans are so loyal and as soon as one finds out about me, they go and tell 10 people.” says the appreciative MC, who spends hours after each show signing countless autographs and kicking it with his supporters. “Maybe I’m just consistent and I’m real with my fans and they can see that.”
Which is why he’s confident that listeners will appreciate the giveaway Leaving Home. With an East Coast tour planned for October and a European jaunt set for November, T. Mills will continue to appreciate fans both old and new – and show that the feeling is mutual. “I think if a song is good, it will translate live no matter how fast or slow it is. If people react to it, it’s great,” he says. “This album is going to give me a whole new audience of people who haven’t listened to me before.”