Only every so often do we see a new and exciting breed of talent. The product of generations of music artists cultivated over decades of style and change that seemingly spit out a handful of creative hopefuls that actually change the direction of a genre. The Dean’s List happens to be amongst that crowd. The Boston based trio, made up of Sonny, DJ Mendoza, and Mik Beats combine relatable lyricism with beats infused with several genres to create a new and edgy version of Hip-Hop. Citing inspirations such as Jay Z, The Beatles, John Mayer, and Skrillex this young and vibrant crew don’t fall short of any other artist that’s deserves to be on the Billboard Hot 100. Check out the interview below to get to know more about them and their debut album Generation X.
Parlé Magazine: So fella’s tell me, in a world dominated by solo acts, how did you guys meet and decide to form the group The Dean’s List?
Mik Beats: Well it started when we were freshmen in college. I met Mendoza at Berkley College of Music in Boston and he had already known Sonny from high school and we all became friends. Slowly we just started making music together and that’s how the group was born.
Parlé: And the name itself is pretty interesting; other than a school reference, how did you guys come up with that name?
Sonny: Well The Dean’s List was initially going to be the name of our first project we decided to put out and as we were creating more and more just decided to make that the group name instead of the project.
Parlé: After listening to your music and now speaking with you guys I can see there are a lot of different influences in your work. Are there any that stand out consistently for you or does the inspiration fluctuate when you’re working together?
Sonny: Well personally me I really look up to Bob Dylan, and I know Mendoza is a big John Mayer fan and all three of us really look up to The Beatles musically and strive to kind of achieve the same success they did.
Mendoza: Yeah, I definitely would say that we admire a lot of artist and how they do music so we fluctuate and cover kind of a wide variety of genres and feels. Everyone from Kanye and Jay-Z and people like that, you know.
Parlé: Having so many different influences musically how would you classify your brand of music?
Mendoza: Umm, Definitely would say it’s across the board. I mean there is some stuff we have that are more like Pop, then some things that are indie and Hip-Hop, and some just rap. So we’re definitely across the board, we never strive to make one type of genre or one sort of song.
Parlé: I assume we the fans will get a heavy dose of all these genres’ on your upcoming album debut album?
Mendoza: Yep, Generation X will be released April 3rd and we’ll be dropping another single and video soon as well.
Parlé: Prior to this release I know you guys have released two mixtapes that includes your popular singles “Dear Professor” and “La Vie”, how will this EP differ from those records?
Sonny: I think the new album shows how much we’ve grown and is more mature than the last projects we’ve done. We’ve mashed a lot of different genres together, the song topics are a lot different as well as the beats are more developed. It’s definitely a step up from where we were.
Parlé: With these new song topics and direction are you guys trying to send a certain message to your fans?
Sonny: I always try to lyrically talk about things that mean something. Just everyday things and put a little twists on it. I think the message that people will get from this album will be that you don’t have to talk about partying all the time and being true to yourself.
Parlé: That’s always a great message, so how is making music a true path for you?
Mendoza: Honestly I personally don’t feel I have a choice other than to be in the music industry or business that’s music related. I love it.
Mik Beats: I just like making music and letting people hear it you know. It’s really cool seeing people appreciate it. I just like it (Laughs)
Parlé: And since you guys have been a group, have you experienced any moments that have reaffirmed that this is what you want to do?
Sonny: I think the release of The Drive-In, our last project, was that moment because it just blew up and got us a lot of exposure. It was a really good feeling to know that the music was doing well and we were actually doing something. It helped us get more and more motivated to create.
Mendoza: Yeah definitely when we released The Drive In and were able to travel across the country and people knew our song, which was pretty crazy. They weren’t huge crowds or anything but three to five hundred people showing up and going really crazy was awesome.
Parlé: How does that feel that after three years you journeyed from just making music in your dorms to touring the country and having a fan base?
Mendoza: It’s pretty great. Right after we released the last mix-tape we didn’t have much of a buzz or anything. And then slowly it started to grow, it was really small but it was still great even then to feel the appreciation for the music.
Parlé: With growth comes experience and success, where do you guys hope this growth takes you?
Sonny: I think we all hope to win a couple Grammy’s and just want to be the next Beatles. That’s our main goal.
Mik Beats: My goal is to just put out good music. There’s a lot of bad music saturated out there and I just want to put good music out there. Keep It True.
Parlé: It seems like you guys just want to deliver your passion for music in the world which is something great. I can say that after hearing your new single as well as your mix-tapes you’ve definitely got a new fan.
Mendoza: Aww Thanks Man!
Mik Beats: Thanks Man!
Parlé: Where can your fans check you out for more about your music and tour dates?
Mendoza: You can check us out at www.facebook.com/itsthedeanslist and follow us on twitter at www.twitter.com/followdeanslist.
Parlé: Cool, thanks a lot guys for taking the time to speak with me and I look forward to hearing more from you in the future.
Mendoza: Awesome thanks a lot man we really appreciate it.
Sonny: Thanks Man!
Mik Beats: Thanks.
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