While some of his peers might try to fit in, this pop/hip-hop artist is “too busy standing out.”


At least, that’s what this college student proclaims with the recent release of his debut mixtape “Too Busy Standing Out.”


A senior marketing major at USC Aiken, Tenerio “Ten” Hawkins, 21, hails from Saluda.


“I’ve had a passion for music for as long as I can remember,” he said.


This musician started writing songs when he was around 8 years old.


Hip-hop artists Ben G. and J. Cole are two of his musical influences.


When he was a pre-teen, Hawkins started to record some of his music.


“Too Busy Standing Out” was released this spring. It features 15 tracks.


Two of those include “5 a.m. in Aiken” and “I Hate College.”


“I don’t really mention Aiken in ‘5 a.m. in Aiken,” Hawkins admits. “Drake released a song called ‘5 a.m. in Toronto,’ and that’s what gave me the idea to write the song. I decided to give the song its name since it was recorded in my dorm room in Aiken.”


“I Hate College” overviews Hawkin’s college experiences at USC Aiken.


“They try to bring us down, but we going to live it up,” he raps during the song.


The artist released the music video for “5 a.m. in Aiken” in April.


The video shows spots around the college and downtown Aiken.


“Although Aiken is not my hometown, I would have to say that the people here are great. My experience with Aiken over the past few years has been great. Here is where I met my friend who became my manager and my wonderful girlfriend.”


USCA is also the main spot where Hawkins performs.


“Over the past few years, I have spent time recording and putting music on the Internet in order to build up my fan base. My hope is that this year my manager and I can work on booking shows,” he said.


Hawkins has collaborated with artists like Californian artist Pop Deez.


The musician’s nickname and professional name “Ten” comes from a family-given nickname. “My oldest cousin gave me the nick name Ten-o because people would often mess up my real name,” Hawkins said. “After a while I dropped the ‘o’ and just started going by Ten.”


Hawkins’ fan club has its own name, too.


“In most of Ten’s music, you hear him reference Frat Club or TSBFCOD,” as stated on the musician’s webpage. “‘Frat Club’ is just his team/support group name. It includes his manager, a handful of his close friends and himself. The term ‘Frat Nation’ refers to all of his fans.”


Hawkins’ website further states, “Ten is a dedicated artist who works hard on his music and just wants to share his music with the world.”


This fall, Hawkins expects to release his new mixtape “Unwanted Melodies.”


For more information, visit www.tentsbfcod.com.


Stephanie Turner graduated from Valdosta State University in 2012. She then signed on with the Aiken Standard, where she is now the arts and entertainment reporter.