Producing music, saving lives, pleasing a fan base — all while tackling finals — is not something most college students have to balance.
This is, however, the daily life of sophomore Mitch Brown, also known as Kid Quill.
Kid Quill drops his first album in June and is promoting it by performing shows until its upcoming release.
His album, “Ear to Ear,” is a reference to a big smile, but there is also a deeper meaning behind the name.
“My mom was a Theta at Butler, and those girls would ask a question and say ‘ear to ear.’ That meant the answer couldn’t be a lie, no matter the circumstances,” he said. “We used that phrase in my house growing up, so this album is me, ‘ear to ear,’ no false front. It’s me being me.”
Students can find the album on iTunes and Google Play once it is released. There will also be hard copies sold in local stores.
With work, soccer and his studies – he plans to go to law school but hopes to work in the music industry — it was hard for Kid Quill to find time to record. He has been writing for more than a year, and started to record in the summer of 2013.
“I skipped traveling on spring break and recorded a lot during that week,” said Kid Quill. “It’s tedious because I’m pretty picky. I try to make sure I like every little part about the song.”
Listeners sometimes peg Kid Quill’s music as rap, but he disputes the label.
“Some of his songs are made for the party, and they go hard,” said sophomore Michael Spier. “He knows how to kill a beat, but some of them get really introspective. His music is versatile.”
A lot of Kid Quill’s fans are also friends who have watched him throughout his journey as an artist. Aside from the beat, fans also connect with his music on an emotional level.
“As a college kid, it’s really easy to relate to his music because he writes about his life,” said sophomore Joe Haynes. “He pours his heart and soul into his music, and it shows.”
With his growing popularity, both on and off campus, Kid Quill is always looking for people to critique his work.
“One time I told him I liked his music and I can see him going places, and I thought he was going to cry out of gratitude,” said sophomore Libby Winkleman. “I’m impressed with how far he’s come in just a year or so. Plus, the ladies love him.”
Kid Quill said of all the tracks prepared for “Ear to Ear,” there is one song he is particularly pleased with.
“There’s a song called ‘Timeline,’ which layers different hip-hop verses from a variety of artists and tracks how hip-hop has changed over time,” said Kid Quill. “It was the hardest to write, but it flows, so I am very proud of it.”
Last year, only 11 people showed up to one of his shows. Wednesday night, he performed with SoMo for a sold-out crowd.
“No matter the size of the show, I give people the same energy and happiness,” Kid Quill said. “Music is an escape for me. It draws emotion out of me, and I really tried to capture that in ‘Ear to Ear.'”
One of Kid Quill’s favorite parts about touring is the fan energy and getting to interact with them.
“I’ve played sports all my life, but there is nothing like the adrenaline from being on stage,” said Kid Quill. “It’s a fun part of my life, and I’m just living in the moment.”
After one of his shows in the Midwest, Kid Quill met a fan who would change his career forever.
“After a show I usually sneak to the back so I can watch the rest of it without being noticed,” said Kid Quill. “A fan approached me and said that my show saved her from her depression. It was incredible. It’s the epitome of why I’m doing what I’m doing.”
If it wasn’t for a few of his friends who recorded a video of him rapping and uploaded it to YouTube, he wouldn’t be releasing an album.
“I would constantly be rapping on the team bus or when I’m hanging out with my friends,” said Kid Quill. “They told me I should make a mix tape, so I did.”
The encouragement and support of his friends helped Kid Quill advance his skills.
“The man is a lyrical wizard,” said Haynes. “Just when I think I have him figured out, he shows us a new side of him. He’s like Bret Michaels mixed with Aristotle.”