As part of Kettle's student life series, music editor Lorna Holland interviewed a selection of up-and-coming bands and artists about their student days and how the student years shaped their music. For the final instalment of the series, she chatted to the Ross Standaloft from upcoming hip-hop duo Too Many T's.
Tell us a bit about yourselves.
We're a rap duo based in south London. We make hip-hop and come to party.
Where did you study?
Leon went to school in Leicester then Leeds uni. Ross went to school in Wakefield followed by Bristol uni. We were finally living in south London at the same time five years ago.
What was your experience of education like?
L: School was great, I'd go back tomorrow. At uni I had more freedom and exposure to new art, it's where I fell in love with music and decided I want to rap.
R: I did the most boring course in business in the world, it was pointless – l feel like I learned who I wanted to be (and didn’t want to be) at uni and stepped up the music a lot whilst there!
Tell us your fondest memory of your student days.
L: When my student loan came in haha! We used to run a monthly hip-hop night and some of those nights were still my favourite!
R: I used to run a night too, called hiphopopptomus which was fun. I’d say the best days were just getting drunk on random midweek days and laughing a lot with loads of mates. Life gets way more stressful after uni!
Tell us about the most embarrassing moment of your student days.
L: Getting caught having sex in the laundry room.
R: I once passed out and had something different stuffed in every orafice and full makeup/dress combo – the photos were embarrassing at the time but now they're pretty funny!
Did you study music? Was it helpful for your career?
L: I studied sound and lighting design but focused mainly on lighting. However, I did have time to work on music so that was helpful.
R: No, but I really wish I did. I think I went for something sensible thinking I'd do music in my spare time, but really wish I'd studied. I think it would have sped up my career!
Did education help to shape your music career in any way?
L: Through education I was given opportunities to travel abroad and if I hadn't done that I doubt if I would be making hip-hop now.
In your opinion, is it better to study music or focus on getting practical experience?
L: You need both but the music comes first so study your craft.
R: Learning can give you a good basis and practice really helps, but you also need the right idea or collaborators. I think me and Leon would have never been this far into the music business if we didn’t join forces.
Do you think it’s important for aspiring musicians to study music?
L: I think you need to study to learn the basics. But what will then set you apart is your own imagination and skills. So study a bit and then practice and test yourself. Try things you struggle with until you can.
R: There are so many tutorials and online tools, so I'd say no, but it's good to just focus on one thing if you have the desire!
Do you have any advice for aspiring musicians or young people thinking about studying music?
L: Be prepared to sacrifice for your art. Your friends will be in the pub or going away for the weekend. You will have to write/practice/perform somewhere.
R: Do it if you really want it!!
Where can our readers go to find out more about you and your music?
Have you enjoyed Kettle's student life music series? Let us know in the comments below!