As a child Mike Rosenberg learnt to play the guitar and was inspired by folk based singer/songwriters including Paul Simon, Neil Young and Bob Dylan, he was soon writing his own songs by his mid-teens. After playing low key gigs he found himself performing two songs at a 2002 benefit in aid of the Free Burma Campaign at London's Royal Court that had been organised by singer/songwriter from 1 Giant Leap (and former Faithless member) Jamie Catto. Other than the exposure he received on the night the benefit, it also provided two hugely important introductions; the first was to fellow musician Andrews Phillips who was performing with his band Slovo and the pair soon discovered they not only both lived in Brighton & Hove but they shared similar musical ambitions. The second key introduction was to IE Music management who signed Rosenberg to their artist roster. Back on the south coast the two musicians started writing and recording in Phillips' home studio and in 2003 formed the Mike Rosenberg Band with keyboards player Richard Brinklow, bassist Marcus O'Dair and Israeli drummer Alon Cohen. Building an audience through a busy touring schedule throughout the UK the band eventually changed their name to Passenger and released their self-released debut album Wicked Man's Rest in 2007 which had been preceded by the impressive singles 'Stray Dog' and 'Philadelphia'. From the start it was Rosenberg who wrote all the songs (Phillips composed just one song 'Four Horses' on the debut) and it was the singer who steered the band's direction and when they split in 2009 Rosenberg embarked on a solo career, although he retained the name Passenger. Often busking and playing gigs in the UK (where he supported Turin Breaks) he also continued to record his songs and issued three independently released albums in the space of two years; Wide Eyes Blind Love (2009), the fans only record Divers And Submarines (2010) and Flight Of The Crow (2010), the latter being recorded in Australia.
Signing a deal with Black Crow Records Rosenberg remained in Australia for his next record and along with a number of local musicians including Katie Noonan & The Captains keyboards player Stu Hunter, bassist Cameron Undy and drummer Tim Hart
from Boy & Bear he entered Sydney's Linear Recording studios. Released in February 2012 All The Little Lights, a collection of personal guitar based songs that bore the influence of his aforementioned folk music heroes, proved to be the turning point in his career with Top 10 positions around the world including peaking at No 3 in the UK. Promoting the album he took to the road as support to both Jools Holland as well as his childhood friend Ed Sheeran who talked the record up and would bring Rosenberg onstage to duet as the pair toured throughout North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. While the live shows and Sheeran's patronage helped the album, what really established it's success was the excellent lead single 'Let Her Go' which topped the charts in no fewer than seventeen countries although it fell just short in his home country where it peaked at No 2. A certified multi-platinum runaway success, the song became ubiquitous on radio and TV while its simple yet poignant lyrics of lost love also contain echoes of a musician's life on the road; 'Only know you've been high when you're feeling low, Only hate the road when you're missin' home, Only know you love her when you let her go, And you let her go'. By the time Passenger played the televised Children In Need Rocks concert at Hammersmith Apollo in November 2013 there were few people who didn't know his name and even fewer who hadn't heard his hit song. Touring throughout the year kept Passenger in the public eye and while the subsequent single 'Holes' failed to find favour in the UK it became a modest hit throughout Europe and Australia. June 2014 saw the release of his fifth album Whispers
that emulated its predecessor's success around the world and even improved on its success in the USA where it became a No 12 hit All The Little Lights had only reached No 26.) Although the new record's lead single, the exceptional folky 'Hearts On Fire' was less successful, apart from in Australia where his loyal fanbase helped it to No 26. Passenger's natural audience are almost certainly album buyers who are untroubled by singles chart success. An instinctive, effortless and endearing performer, years of playing live on stage as well as busking in the street have honed Mike Rosenberg's inherent skills, while his highly unique voice and his emotive and relatable songs have marked him out as one of the UK's most talented new musicians who seems destined to have a long and successful career.
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