Mike Seander is Mike Stud.
He’s a former NCAA Division 1 All-American turned musician.
Mike attended Duke University, where he starred as a relief pitcher for the Blue Devils baseball squad. With his sights firmly set on Major League Baseball, Mike appeared destined to continue his career on a big league mound.
Life, however, had other plans.
An injury to Seander’s throwing arm required Tommy John surgery. A comprehensive rehabilitation program swiftly followed, in an attempt to resuscitate the once dominant strength in Seander’s arm.
It never happened.
But what happened next was definitely a curve ball.
As he sat in his dorm room recovering from injury, Mike created the hit song, “College Humor”. The track was released in December 2010 and its video amassed over 1 million YouTube views. Rather than throwing fast balls, Mike was now living life in the fast lane.
Since October 2011, he’s also released three mixtapes: A Toast to Tommy, Click, and #SundayStudDay. With his YouTube channel racking up over 14 million views, Mike’s profile is unquestionably skyrocketing.
In the aftermath of his Studnation tour, I sat down with Mike to discuss baseball, music and expectations for 2013.
1. You went from being the Gatorade Player of the Year, to a freshman All-American at Duke, to having Tommy John surgery. What was it like to have baseball turned upside down on you?
It sucked man.
It didn’t really hit home for a while. There was a very long rehab process with Tommy John. It’s a 16-month-program and I was optimistic the whole time. I stayed positive, and thought that I could come back the same or even better, but it just didn’t happen.
When I realized I wasn’t the same pitcher, it sucked. I saw all my friends moving on to the next level and I felt like that was supposed to be me.
2. Without the injury, do you think music would have worked out like it did?
No way. I don’t think I ever would have made a song if I didn’t get hurt.
3. What’s the most important thing you’ve taken from sports and applied to music?
A lot of the same lessons apply. I think mostly though, it’s work ethic. Things are moving so quickly here and I think a lot of that comes from just working so hard.
I was kind of thrown into the fire a little bit. The song “College Humor” got popular out of nowhere and I was learning as I was going.
I didn’t have any real musical background, so I was kind of winging it in the beginning. So it forced me to work that much harder.
4. What was the biggest adjustment in transitioning from baseball to music?
The biggest adjustment was definitely writing melodies. I never realized how much work and how hard it is to write melodies.
5. Would you party harder after a big win in ball, or after a killer show?
(laughs) We threw some ragers at Duke, but I don’t think anything is as fun as what I’m doing now. I really had fun playing baseball and having that comradery. But we really turn it up when we’re on the road now. We make the plea that we party as hard as anyone on the road. You’ll never see us go back to the hotel and go to sleep.
6. I checked out some of Jon Kilmer’s handy work with the “Touring is Boring” videos online. It looks like you guys are having a good time. What about crazy fans, though? Do any girls go stage-5-clinger and try to rush the stage or the tour bus?
(laughs) That actually happens a decent amount. Nothing too crazy.
I don’t think I’m at the scale where we’ll have crazy stalker fans. I can’t say anything bad about the fans we’ve had. On the last tour we found we just came across a lot of people who wanted to party with us and have a good time.
7. Now that the Studnation tour is over, what’s lined-up for 2013 in terms of new music and touring?
Man, I’m so excited.
We have so many good things going on. Our new project is about 90% done and it’s all originals. It’s really a next level record for us as a whole.
8. How would you personally describe your sound?
I just try to make stuff that stays true to me and our team thinks is dope. My sound is constantly evolving.
I try and make music for people of this age group (15-25) because that’s where I am, and that’s what I know.
9. Which artist(s) would you like to collaborate with?
Kid Ink is someone who I really think is dope and would be good. I like his music and that feels realistic.
10. If our readers listened to only one of your tracks, which one should it be?
Well, I’d definitely want them to hear all the new stuff. But if I had to pick one, I’d definitely say “Bottle it Up”. It’s catchy, but it’s also serious.
11. Growing up, was there one album that inspired you to get into rap?
I have to be honest and say no. I didn’t have the normal musical upbringing. I never listened to music growing up, thinking “I want to make my own music”. I just listened to music for pleasure.
12. What advice would you give a college kid thinking about getting into the music scene?
You can do it, and you can do it on your own.
I made “College Humor” in my dorm room with zero musical background. I got the cheapest of pretty decent musical equipment and I did it on my own. It’s just so doable. People are going to say negative things or that is a waste of time. But if you really want to do, then just go for it.