Mitchell Rose didn’t want to just release his debut single and have it lost in the sea of new music pushed out by wannabe stars every week. The 22-year-old needed a strategy to stand out, to gain traction on social media. So, he asked his manager to email his song to popular YouTubers, hoping one would collaborate with him.
As luck would have it, Kurt Hugo Schneider replied, saying he loved Rose’s voice and invited him to do a cover together. Rose flew to LA on a songwriting trip, and in a single day, he and Schneider had finished their version of Charlie Puth’s One Call Away, complete with a one-shot music video.
“We kept bouncing ideas off one another and decided to do One Call Away because it fit my vocals well and the song was climbing in the charts,” Rose tells Young Post over the phone.
“Doing the song was a breeze. We went into the studio, I sang the song, and we were happy with the first take. We just had to pick a couple spots to refine.”
Filming was just as smooth. It took 40 minutes to set up all of Schneider’s instruments and figure out the order in which he would play them, then they got the perfect take on the fifth try.
The video was released on Schneider’s YouTube channel in February, on the same day that Rose released a lyric video of his debut song Candy on his own channel. Their One Call Away video racked up more than a million views, and the video for Candy, released earlier this month, got more than 40,000 views in two weeks.
But Rose says he’s not too concerned about view counts. “I’m focused on real fans, people I can talk to,” he said. “So many people come to me with their problems on social media, and they ask how I am doing. That’s so much more powerful that just trying to rake in a number.” It probably doesn’t hurt, though, that Candy has been gaining popularity on Spotify.
The attention from fans is a new thing for Rose. Growing up in a small town in the US, he was the classic outcast. He was terrible at sports, didn’t fit into any clique, and got bullied for his clothes and mannerisms. “It was a very difficult time. There wasn’t anyone I could share with, no friend to talk to about this stuff,” he recalls. So after school, he’d go home, do his homework, and start writing music at the piano. Music was his only outlet.
He’s been making music since he was five, when his parents signed him up for piano lessons. Theatre followed at nine, and with his golden voice, Rose got a role in the professional Broadway show Oliver! when he was 12.
But despite the success, his awkwardness persisted, and he never felt a connection to his fellow actors. “I really thought something was wrong with me,” he said.
Once again, he turned to writing music, and at age 15, he won a singing contest, earning him six free studio hours with producer Kevin Chalfant.
Chalfant, who would go on to make Rose’s first album, told Rose about Nashville, the music city that gave rise to stars like Taylor Swift and Kesha. Looking for a fresh start, Rose decided to move there for college.
“I finally found people who liked me for who I was,” he said. “It’s in college where my confidence grew most.”
Rose has finished studying, and is ready to show the world what he can do. “I want my sound to be fresh and slightly different, like Sting’s music,” he says.
“I want my music to be relatable as possible while filling a void in the scene.”