There’s something about January that forces you to reminisce on the days that led to the New Year. Thanks to my arm that has somehow ended up in a sling (again) and the polar vortex temperatures that have seemingly taken over New York, I’ve had plenty of time over the past few weeks to reflect on my best and worst memories of 2014. As I prepare to head back to school for my sixth semester, I can’t help but wonder how I’m going to juggle six classes, eighteen credits, sling-life and another shoulder surgery but with the help of one of my favorite artists, I have a feeling I’ll be just fine over the next six months.
If anyone knows how to bounce back from an unexpected injury, it’s Mike Stud. For those of you who aren’t aware of Stud’s mound to microphone story, it’s one for the history books. During his senior year of high school, Mike was named Rhode Island’s 2006 Gatorade Player of the Year. Trading Pawtucket, Rhode Island for Durham, North Carolina, Mike played baseball at Duke University where he was named the team’s closer as a true freshman. That same year, Stud earned the lowest ERA in Duke baseball history and was named to the Louisville Slugger and Rivals.com All-American teams.
With such impressive freshman year statistics, it seems this article should be featured on ESPN instead of WeKnowTheDJ, right? Well, this is where Mike and I cross paths. Appearance-wise, our differences outshine our similarities but most people don’t realize that we both made the transition from college athletics to the music industry. After Tommy John surgery ended Mike’s baseball career, the now twenty-six year old turned to music.
Within the past four years, Stud has released three albums and three mixtapes; he has also spent countless days touring the United States. Mike’s catalogue ranges from songs that were created as jokes to tracks that have dominated the radio charts, sending him from All-American baseball player to YouTube sensation to Billboard charter. The undeniable success of his most recent album, Closer, confirms that Mike has found his footing in the industry while simultaneously planning for a complete takeover. For the most part, there isn’t much collaboration on Closer but believe it or not, that was on purpose! Mike has no shortage of friends in the industry, all of whom would gladly jump on a track with him, but in Mike’s words, “I just wanted to take this project and be like Oh, this is Mike. This is what he can do.” Well Mike, we definitely do not doubt you or your talent!
The only thing more impressive than Mike’s talent is his passion. As someone whose soccer career was ended by a (seemingly never-ending) shoulder injury, I know how easy it is to get discouraged by an injury. While sitting around all day and letting your body “heal,” your mind begins to wander in a million different directions. Not willing to let his injury get the best of him, Mike began fooling around with music in hopes of finding an outlet to express his creativity and cure his boredom.
It’s clear that Mike has encountered plenty of ups and downs over the past few years… But more importantly, it’s evident that he has overcome the obstacles placed in his path. His introduction to the music industry might have been unconventional but his story of redemption is one that naturally captures attention. A majority of his fan base is composed of college kids that can relate to his come-up. Every young person spends a significant amount of time searching the Internet every day for the latest and the greatest, His refusal to accept handouts plus his constant presence on social media leads me to believe that Mike Stud is the smartest artist in the game right now. His social media accounts makes his fans feel more connected, proving that, in terms of expanding his brand, Mike Stud is doing things the right way.
Now, I’m not a psychic but after a few meaningful conversations that I’ve had with Mike and his camp, I can guarantee that the Mike Stud/WeKnowTheDJ relationship will definitely continue to grow this year! I can’t give away any secrets without getting in trouble but between Mike’s upcoming releases, reality show and future tour plans, I’m sure we’ll have plenty to talk about this year! For now, as I continue to recover and Mike continues to record, head over to his YouTube page and watch every video/listen to every song on repeat! Also, be sure to send us a tweet at @weknowthedj and let us know what you think of Mike Stud’s come-up!