Profile: UM engineering major dreams of music career

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Phillip Hart, a University of Mississippi engineering major and aspiring music artist. Photo by Christian Johnson.

Christian Johnson
Oxford Stories

A University of Mississippi engineering major dreams of someday “becoming the next Drake or Kendrick.”

Phillip Hart was born in Keesler Air Force Base, Biloxi. His father is a retired Navy Seabee. He has lived in Virginia, North Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, California, Germany, and Washington state.

“The fact that my dad is in the military, and I’ve coincidentally traveled a lot because of it, has resulted in me meeting so many new people and seen so many new perspectives,” he said.

When Phillip was younger, he met Bill Clinton in Stuttgart, Germany. He’s also met Michelle Obama, and said, “She smelled like strawberries.”

“If I wasn’t a military brat, I wouldn’t have experienced nearly as much,” he said, “and I don’t think my dreams and aspirations would be as high as they are today.”

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Hart writes his most recent song in his dorm. Photo by Christian Johnson.

Hart came to Ole Miss from Biloxi because he liked the UM engineering program. He chose chemical engineering because his dad is a civil engineer, but he thinks “chemical engineering is more interesting than studying buildings and structures.” He said he wants to create his own company for drug discoveries and produce medicines at a lower price.

Hart began making music at age 15. “For Christmas, my parents got me a beat making machine,” he said. “When I was growing up, I didn’t have many friends, but I always had music. I always felt like I could live my life through music.”

Phillip still makes music for his Soundcloud account to pass time and as a stress reliever. His music has improved through support and critique from his friends.

“It took me a while to find my niche, but once I did, I realized that music is always around us,” he said, “whether we think about it or not.

“I had an ex-girlfriend who always downed me about my music, but in reality, it motivated me even more. I still think about that point in my life every day, and I think about where she is now compared to where I am.”

Hart said without friends who motivated him, he might have abandoned music long ago. His sister is one of his motivators. “We’ve always bonded over music,” he said, “and her love for music has largely stemmed off of mine, despite the fact that she chose the violin instead.”

Phillip also seeks fame. He knows that either engineering or music will eventually bring success. It’s just a matter of time.

“Being on a path for music has always helped me set up a certain plan in my mind,” he said. “Before I graduate, I want to have a decent portfolio of music just in case my engineering doesn’t work out.”

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Hart looks for the music that is all around us. Photo by Christian Johnson.

Phillip remembers being at a party, looking at the DJ, and thinking, “That could be me one day.” He still chases that dream.

“Knowing that music will always be there for me makes me much more passionate about it,” he said. “Knowing that even after I die, my music will always be there, and someone can still listen to it, makes me strive to be the next Drake or Kendrick.”

Grace Hammons, one of Hart’s closest friends, said, “Phillip is one of the most dedicated people I’ve ever known, not only to his schoolwork, but also to his music.”

Grace said she’s known Hart a long time, and he’s progressed musically. She said she can’t wait to see where their friendship will lead, and where he’ll go with his music.

Hart said he never takes his music for granted and always strives to be better. He is constantly searching for new material and new inspiration. He plans to pursue a future career in engineering even if he doesn’t make it in the music industry. He never wants to give up his professional goals.

“When I’m going through a rough time, I turn to music,” he said. “When I’m stressed, I know I can turn to music. When I’m bored, I know I can turn to my music. In the end, my music is always my backbone.”



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