There have been very few rap groups from the Virginia music scene that has captured the spirit of a party as well as CAMPUS, which includes childhood friends that go by Pro and Tone Definite. Though their origins are based in hip-hop, their most recent album Party Time, which was released on March 11th, combines elements of those genres and more to form a truly unique and captivating record. Though the album promotes partying, the members say it’s more about “having fun and being positive,” as well as appreciating what you have. I had a chance to talk to these party rockers about their new album and some of the secrets behind the making of it.

First off, how did you guys meet and start writing music together?

Pro: We met when we were young, around seven-years-old. We went to school together. When Tone and I were in college, we both started doing music on our own, and when we found that out, it made sense to us to collaborate and make music together.

Tone: I was at Bridgewater College, which is right next to James Madison University, and I was doing more hip hop beats.

Pro: I was rapping out of my home studio, but since we started collaborating together, we have been going more mainstream towards pop.

Why did you decide to name your group CAMPUS?

Tone: Since I was away a college and Shawn (Pro) was at TCC (Tidewater Community College), we thought that is was a fun, exciting way to approach music, and it reflected where were at that time in our life. We have since graduated, but we still live that lifestyle.

I know you guys are big fans of LMFAO, and you seem very similar in style as well as the names of your albums. How has those influences helped you shape your own identity for Party Time?

Pro: They had an influence on us only because we both like all kinds of genres, and when we decided to stick to one genre, it was much easier to go that route. We went out on a limb to make that kind of music because when we were coming up, there weren’t many people around making that kind of music. You don’t have to be a gangster to write rap music, and we love bringing the pop element into it. Our songs are about having fun and being positive. We wanted to incorporate party music because it gets people hype and sets a good vibe, but we also have more serious songs like “Trust Your Love”

I’m glad you mentioned that. What is the meaning behind your new single “Trust Your Love”?

Tone: It can be viewed from a girl or guy’s standpoint, but it’s about how you don’t always know the motives behind someone’s actions. You can’t always take them at face value.

Other than that song, what is your favorite song on the album?

Pro: “The Light” because I love the melody of the chorus and the “hypeness” of the verses. It’s about being confident in who you are and walking in a building and knowing that you are somebody [important]. It’s what we live by.

Tone: I would have to say “Golden” because I really like tempo of it and the whole vibe. It’s about enjoying yourself in the moment and at the end of the day being grateful for what you got because other people don’t have it as good as we do.

Did you collaborate with any other local artists for this record?

Tone: Just one. On “Trust Your Love” and “Oh God” we worked with Chelsea Elliott from SECRET MARK.

Since you are in independent artist, do you think that has been helpful or harmful to your success?

Pro: It’s always a struggle to diversify our fan base without the means to reach out without the support an indie or major label could provide. We are just taking it one step at a time, and we aren’t going to sign to a label for no reason. Right now our primary concern is broadening our fan base.

Do you have any upcoming shows or a tour you can announce yet?

Pro: We have a couple things that we will be announcing soon on Facebook, and Twitter, but we don’t want to ruin the surprise yet.

For more updates on CAMPUS, be sure to “like” their Facebook page, follow them on Twitter, and download their new album Party Time on iTunes, Spotify, and Google Play.

Joe Fitzpatrick

Joe Fitzpatrick

As editor-in-chief, Joe is very passionate about promoting music and culture in Virginia and DC. A resident of Fairfax, Joe enjoys going to shows, checking out local breweries, and trying new foods with his girlfriend Alex.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *