With school back in session, we feel it’s only necessary that we remind you that higher education is, in large part, a waste of time. Unless you’re studying to become a rare parrot doctor, airline pilot or hoverboard engineer, academia is generally nothing more than a slow, painful way to liquidate your father’s income … which, according to him, is a helluva way to repay him for springing you forth from his shapely loins.
Now, it would probably be “unwise” of us to encourage you to drop out of school like, “Fuck it, chase your dreams!” but, fuck it. Chase your dreams!
Take a look at the following five artists who did just that, choosing to forgo a useless degree to make music as their full-time job.
Clair Boucher, the Canadian wunderkid, began recording experimental electronic music under the psuedonym Grimes at the tender age of 18 while studying neuroscience (!) at Montreal’s McGill University. Apparently her plate got a little too full at that point, because she was eventually expelled from the school for poor attendance. We’re guessing she doesn’t have any regrets, though — her debut album, Visions, was widely regarded as one of the best of 2012.
Grimes is currently prepping her second album, slated for release sometime in 2016. Until then, you can catch the dropout on her “Rhinestone Cowgirls” tour, which starts next month.
Way before he would go on to be known as the dude who invented bro-step, Skrillex was in a metal-core band called From First To Last. In 2004, while searching for new members, the band noticed little Sonny Moore (then, just 16 years old) on MySpace, and decided to hire the kid as their new lead singer. From there, Sonny finished high school in 2006, left the band, and released a free EP called Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites, instead of going to college. You (and your mom) probably know what he’s been doing since then.
Check out Sonny and Justin Bieber’s recent collaboration, “What Do You Mean?”, for some fire-flame pan flute action.
EDM “masta” and champion of Moombahton Dillon Francis didn’t need an expensive degree to get signed by the massive label Columbia Records — he just needed to impress the right people, namely Diplo, the founder of Mad Decent. Before that, Dillon had been a community college dropout, interning for an Atlanta beat-maker for about a year when his music fell into the right hands. Diplo himself stated in a recent Reddit AMA, “all [Dillon’s] music was better than mine so I signed him.” Sounds sooo easy.
Dillon recently dropped his latest, This Mixtape Is Fire, on iTunes. But you can stream the whole project here, via his Soundcloud page.
It didn’t take much to convince Guy and Howard Lawrence to quit their day jobs and follow their dreams of becoming international superstars. Once it became clear to the brothers that the whole “Disclosure” thing was about to take off, Guy (24) ended his part-time gig working retail and Howard (21) dropped out of Reigate College in Surrey, England.
Yes, if you can believe it, the front man of your 837,038th favorite rock band, Nickelback, didn’t finish high school. Wait, on second thought, you can totally picture that, can’t you. Maybe in school they would have at least learned that terrible music + people named Chad = ear mutiny.
The lead singer, Chad (CccccchhhhhhaaaaaaaAAAAAdddd) told Playboy magazine (which we totally read for the articles), “I didn’t go to school. I mean, after the eighth or ninth grade, I don’t remember going to school five days out of the week, ever.” If the success story of Earth’s worst sounding/best-selling rock band doesn’t inspire you to drop out of school, nothing will.
Also, we don’t want to beat a dead horse, but Krewella, Porter Robinson, Hardwell, Madeon and Haywyre never graduated either … all the more case for setting your TI-83 on fire and performing satanic rituals on its corpse.