On the Verge: Passenger

passengerBefore Mike Rosenberg, the one-man act that is Passenger, performed his first show to kick off his tour in the US tonight, he decided to swing by our studio to play us a few tunes. The UK-born singer-songwriter has been through the ups and downs of the industry, spanning from busking on the streets just to get by, to the most recent success of his newest album, All the Little Lights, and single “Let Her Go.”

    “There are definitely times when it seems a bit ridiculous to carry on, but I’ve wanted to do music from such a young age, and when it comes down to it there isn’t really another option for me. I just feel so passionate about music and I was so hurt that the band hadn’t worked out, that it meant so much to me to carry on in any way possible”

    Once the studio was all set up for him, he took no hesitation in starting off his two-song set for us. The opener was none other than his newest single, “Let Her Go.” Rosenberg’s voice came in as almost a heartfelt whisper over gentle and intricate finger picking on his acoustic guitar. To witness how passionate Passenger’s voice is as he repeats, “Only know you love her when you let her go” is something truly magnificent, and is clear proof that he is doing something that he loves.

    “When you’re a kid and you get into music, you only want to be number one and see yourself at the top of the charts, but it is only when I let go of all those crazy ideas, and started making music that I loved, that I began to evolve and see a difference in my popularity. It’s a very, very, very pleasant surprise to begin to see the music that you put so much love into start to become noticed.” Roseburg laughed.

    He closed off his two-song set with Life’s For the Living, off of All the Little Lights. This song begins with the gentleness and intricate finger picking that can be seen in “Let Her Go,” but as the song progresses, the song snowballs into a quick strum and near-shouted vocals that are capable of raising the hairs on the back of your neck. The song comes full circle at the end, slowing down to a gentle whisper, and by the time he had finished, he had everyone in the booth wishing for more.

    “The more I travel, the more I think my music evolves and matures, just as I do as a person. My songs have become a bit more honest, and a bit more grown-up really, and I think the more you write, the more you realize what you are trying to say. And if this all ends tomorrow, I won’t hesitate in going back to Plan A, which is busking and playing for people who like your music. As long as I’m doing what I love, I’m happy!”

By Patrick Prendergast
Photo by Chris Paredes

If you liked this, check out:
On The Verge: Husky
Live Music Week Spring 2013

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