Step into my office! No really step into the office of Julie Pilat and lets talk music, but don't get too distracted by the overflowing CD shelf, graffiti wall guest book and world's smallest violin.
The hottest artists are no strangers to Julie's office, Music Director of KIIS FM and it's pretty clear by the signed memorabilia covering the walls.
Now breaking new artists with a rapid growing following are popping in every Wednesday for the #weekendmixtape show.
So cozy up near a computer, watch and listen as each guest chats up their success, music, struggles and sometimes even performs plus get a preview of what top songs are hitting the KIIS family ears for the weekend.
In the meantime browse past shows below with super cool guests like Karmin, Dr. Hollywood, Honor Society and the Electrolightz.
Who doesn't love free music? Get a free download of Sammy Adams 'Only One' below...
In the climate of today’s music industry, a do it yourself attitude can go a long way. T. Mills knows this firsthand.
Born Travis Tatum Mills, the 22-year-old was able to turn laptop musical experimentation in his bedroom into national tours and a recording contract with Columbia Records, all in just over two years. But the rapid ascent didn’t come without plenty of work.
From an early age, T. Mills was musically curious. As a kid growing up in
With such an eclectic array of sounds grounding him, it’s no wonder that T. Mills's music is not neatly classifiable, pulling from a number of different places. “I would call it a mesh between hip-hop, R&B, electronic and dance,” he says, before truncating the description. “I call it hip-pop.”
It took some time to hone that sound, though. At 15, he started what he calls an “experimental pop punk” band with friends and was overcome with his connection to music. “When I turned 15, it was over,” he says. “Music was my whole life. You couldn't stop me.”
Before long, he stopped going to high school and shifted his focus to independent studies and music. “Friday and Saturday, I'd sell tickets so I could play a show,” the SoCal singer recalls. “Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, we were going to my friends' bands or bands I looked up to. I was sneaking into clubs to go see rappers. I just wanted to be around music.”
Things really began to take shape just over two years ago, though. “I took a T-Pain and Plies beat, and I made a song over it on Garage Band in my bedroom, and I made a MySpace page and I put some pictures up, and kids just started finding my page,” he says. “I recorded like three more demos in my bedroom and I kept putting songs up.” He would interact with his fans, promising them that when he hit new thresholds of friends (1000, 5000, etc.), he would put up another song.
“That’s key, because I would literally spend eight to nine hours a day on my computer, adding kids and talking to my fans,” he says. “It was a cool way for me to connect and I could take their temperature on what was working for me and what wasn't working for me. I just kind of got to build my own virtual career. It got to the point where I had like 30,000 plays a day and I only had four or five songs up there.”
Virtual soon became reality, when, through an acquaintance and good timing, Mills landed himself a coveted spot on the summer-long Warped Tour 2009. “I sold my own merch everyday. I set up my own equipment everyday. I just hustled. I played 60 shows by myself the whole summer. It was a grind but it was amazing.”
Once he returned to the Pacific, Mills rode his early wave of success to book shows for himself at local venues. Then, one day, unexpectedly, the tattooed talent got a call from John D’Esposito, Live Nation’s vice president of talent and the founder of Bamboozle.
“I was trippin,” Mills says. “I didn’t know if that shit was real or fake, so I called, and it really was him.”
D’Esposito asked the newbie to craft the theme song for the festival and, in return, gave him a spot on the B-Boy stage, which was also rocked by the likes of Mike Posner and Far East Movement. “That was cool for me cause I didn’t have an album out, and it was my first time playing in the East Coast,” Mills says. “I didn't know what to expect, and we had four or five thousand kids who knew every single word. That was an eye opener for me and definitely a turning point for my career.”
That Fall, he dropped the album Ready, Fire, Aim!, an independent project that was made available on iTunes and in select retail stores.
After shooting a video for one of the tracks with his own money, the video was so well-received—garnering nearly 100,000 views in the first day—that the versatile talent started getting calls from major labels left and right.
Eventually, after months of negotiating, T. Mills inked with
Now, as he preps his official debut album, he's looking towards growth and the future. “My old stuff just came from a place of, I don't know, just fun,” he says. “Now, I've grown and matured and I'm becoming a real artist and writing real songs that are important to me. I feel like I can reach more people with the songs I'm making now.”
As the catchy, genre-bending songs continue to develop, you can try to classify T. Mills, but that doesn't matter. He's going to keep doing it his way, like he has all along.
“When I go in the studio I don’t say, 'I want to write a rap song; I want to write a pop song.' I hear what's in front of me and I work with what I have and I create what I want to listen to. I don’t care if people want to label me a pop artist. I'm not a rapper; I’m not a singer. I'm just an artist. I'm Travis.”
Time to get acquainted.