Turning a virtual laptop musical experimentation into a reality is no easy feat. But Californian rapper Travis Tatum Mills did just that in only two years, transforming himself into the sensational T. Mills.
From his hip-hop-devoted uncle to his country-loving sister, T. Mills’ childhood was surrounded by a Mills mixture of musical favorites and genres. When he was 15, music took hold of his life and essentially became the blood running through his veins, his curiosity leading him from the guitar to the drums to singing. T. Mills’ musical growth was endless, and his virtual music career involved creating songs in his bedroom and uploading them to Myspace.
His hard work and patience (the word now perfectly tattooed across his fingers) were eventually rewarded, and his virtual endeavors became a reality when he earned a spot on the 2009 Warped Tour. He then released his debut album, Ready, Fire, Aim! in 2010, signed with Columbia Records in 2011 and released his EP Leaving Home in 2012.
T. Mills continues to pursue his passion for music with tremendous intensity and the utmost dedication. His songs are authentic and entertaining, with subjects ranging from Vans to Hollywood. A fresh and enjoyable artist, T. Mills is certainly worth every listen. Today, the tattooed talent tours throughout the world, leaving audiences wanting more and more Mills each time. He is currently on his All I Wanna Do tour, with a show set at Atlanta’s Masquerade on April 2.
T. Mills kindly took the time to answer some questions for Asst. Copy Chief Benazir Wehelie via email, addressing everything from his merchandise to his tattoos to his “homies in the A.”
Benazir Wehelie: Music has been a huge part of your life ever since a young age. What made you decide to pursue music as a career?
T. Mills: I never thought of it as a career at first. I started off in garage bands and playing in backyards. When I finally noticed I could tour and sell merch, it was like, “Whoa! This is cool.” I’m extremely grateful that I have people who really support what I do and allow me to live off of music.
BW: Your music has been described as rap and hip-hop. How would you describe your music?
TM: It feels good. It’s young. It’s fun. It’s different every time.
BW: As a child, each of your family members liked different music. Your mom liked Queen, your dad liked Elvis, your uncle liked hip-hop and your sister liked country. Who or what are your musical inspirations and influences?
TM: I listen to so much, it’s always changing. I love surrounding myself with people who don’t know what I’m listening to, and vice versa. It’s refreshing to find new sounds and get inspired again. Kacey Musgraves is super dope and I just found that “Follow Your Arrow” song. I like that s–t.
BW: You’re currently working on your debut album with famed producers, such as Boi-1da, Malay and Cook Classics. What has the creative process been like and what can fans expect from your new music?
TM: It’s been long and unique. I’ve been allowed the opportunity to travel and record. I’ve been able to work with some of my favorite musicians and producers in music right now. Everyone that’s been involved has been extremely genuine. I’m excited for my fans to hear this s–t. I’m so impatient with it coming out.
BW: You have numerous tattoos. What is your favorite tattoo and what is its significance?
TM: I love what my knuckles represent. They say “patience.”
BW: Your Facebook description says: “We were born to manifest the glory that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.” One way you manifest your glory is through music. What are some other talents or hobbies you have that allow you to showcase your best?
TM: I’ve been designing all of our merch this year. You can check it out at yngfvs.com.
BW: You’ve toured all over the world. If you had to pick somewhere to live for the rest of your life, where would you choose and why?
TM: California. Nowhere else like it. It’s def where I call home. The smell. The weather. Everything about it. Ahhhhhh.
BW: You will be in Atlanta for your All I Wanna Do tour on April 2. Complete the sentence: All I wanna do is _____.
TM: See my homies in the A have a good f—ing time! Money baby!
– By Benazir Wehelie