Mitch Brown '16

This week DePauw senior Mitch Brown, also known as Kid Quill, takes time out of his hectic schedule to sit down with Her Campus to discuss his music as well as his first show on campus.

Her Campus: So to start off with, what are you involved in on or off campus? Clubs? Major?

Campus Celebrity: On campus, I am a senior Communications major and Political Science minor.  I am in Itap, and am a retired athlete. Off campus, I am the owner of my own record label that I drop all of my music under, Norham Road Records. I travel a lot and play shows as often as we can with my class and social schedule. Most recently we were in Orlando at UCF.


HC: Going off of that, obviously music is a huge part of your life.  How did you get started with it?

CC: Music started as a joke, really. Battle rapping was a past time we used to do in my basement to roast each other. One night, someone videoed my portion and put it on YouTube without me knowing. Everyone sort of forgot about it until we revisited it a few weeks later and it surprisingly had a good amount of views. We took it down and they encouraged me to make a real project. I made a couple really amateurish ones until I found my sound and vibe, and once that was in place I went more professional. I released my album on iTunes in the summer of 2014, and it charted top 40 nationally on the hip/hop charts. We were just thrown into it blindly from here.


HC: That’s so exciting! Congrats on making the top 40. What would you say are your biggest musical influences?

CC: I draw inspiration from a lot of different things. Broadly, everyday life is probably my biggest inspiration. I walk with headphones in mostly playing songs I've been working on to see if I can draw inspiration from anything or any interaction I see. There's a song in anything. Musically, I look up to Kanye, Big Sean, Jon Bellion, and Macklemore a lot. Kind of weirdly, I also draw a lot of inspiration from punk rock like Blink 182. 


HC: Is it difficult balancing schoolwork and other commitments with your music?

CC: There are times when it is, and there are times when it isn't.  When I'm on the road it is extremely difficult to stay on top of stuff. It is even more challenging when professors assign group projects. I feel like my groups hate me because I'm not always here. (laughs) I would say it's harder to juggle music because creative moments come and go, and I can't always take advantage of them if I'm in class or at work. But with good time management, it is all doable. 


HC: You have a pretty large presence on social media; do you feel like most people around campus know you first as Mitch or as Kid Quill?

CC: That's a toughie. I honestly don't have a good grip on that question. It is hard to tell from the inside looking out. I have no idea whether people see me as Mitch Brown or Kid Quill. When it comes down to it, they're the same person. Funny side note, a lot of people hit me up on social media asking me about DePauw and whether they should look at coming here. So admissions, where's my commission at :).


HC: If you knew from the start that you wanted to go into music, why DePauw? And how has DePauw affected your music career; either stifling or promoting it.

CC: I unfortunately did not know from the start. Everything really started happening my sophomore year, and more specifically my junior year. I originally attended DePauw because it was a good school with a good soccer program. But DePauw has affected my music in both positive and negative ways. I wish I could have gotten more opportunities with the school of music and the spaces they have, but it's all good. Everything worked out for the best. I was granted an independent study last semester that allowed me to create music elsewhere and tour, so that was an absolutely incredible opportunity. My friends and peers at DePauw give me good responses and help me promote it, so I really can't thank them enough either. 


HC: You have your first show at DePauw soon, how are you feeling about that? Excited? Nervous?

CC: (Laughs) To be honest, I'm both. I'm very excited to finally be performing at my own school. I feel like I've performed at every school in Indiana except my own. However, I'm nervous about performing in front of peers. It's different to look out and see a crowd of strangers than it is to see a big group of friends. We've been prepping hard, and it should be a really fun show. I hope a lot of people come out.


HC: I know I’ll be there! So you’re a senior and it’s still early in the year, but what are you plans after DePauw?

CC: I haven't officially decided, but I think I'm just going to go for it. I don't want to be 60 years old and think, "Hmm what would have happened if I at least tried." I'm going to continue making music, and if all else fails hopefully land some sort of job in the industry.


HC: That’s a great attitude to have. If you were to stop pursuing music, what do you think you would pursue instead?

CC: If I stopped making music, I'd pursue some kind of job in the industry. But if it was music all together... I really have no idea. (laughs) I'll just say law. 


HC: Do you have a guilty pleasure song?

CC: My guilty pleasure song is No Scrubs by TLC.


HC: A great choice. Finally, what is your advice for those trying to break into the music industry?

CC: If you want to break into the music industry you have to love it. If you're in it for money or fame, you'll hate it. It takes 10 years to blow up "overnight." People don't realize that going in. If you truly love the craft, you're in good shape. Secondly, don't put on a front. Be yourself. If you try to imitate someone's sound or try to "sound like" another artist, it won't be a good look. If fans wanted to listen to that music, they'll listen to the established artist. Ultimately, love the craft, be yourself, and be aware of getting taken advantage of by industry sharks. Don't assume everything is a good deal. You'll know when the right deal or right break comes. 


HC: Thank you so much for taking the time to sit down with us. Any last minute thoughts?

CC: It was my pleasure. Come to the show on October 10th at 6PM in the Athletics Campus. It is free, and I'll be doing new music along with special performances with groups on campus.