by Conner Tighe The opinions and views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the opinion of Byte or Byte’s editorial board. Talented at the age of four, AJ Mitchell grew up in Belleville, Illinois, where he learned his piano skills from his father, a pianist. At six years old, Mitchell wrote his first song and, in high school, he was a member of the choir group. He performed at local coffee shops and bars until finding fame in 2016 on social media. His debut single “Used to Be” was released in 2017, which Mitchell claims it's his favorite song of his to perform. With inspiration from Coldplay, Lil Wayne, The Beatles, and Bruno Mars, Mitchell writes creatively and has done so even more since quarantine began. The singer takes experiences in his life and crafts +them into pop tracks like his 2019 single “Down in Flames.” “I wrote that song about communication. A big lesson I learned was communicating. I saw two of my close friends get into a bad argument, and from my perspective, I saw how the situation could’ve been a lot different, a lot better if they communicated,” said Mitchell in a YouTube clip. Mitchell is seemingly vulnerable with his fans. With posts from his childhood featured on his social media and many in-depth interviews with mostly entertainment publications, the artist appears genuine and wants the world to know he’s here for the craft and not the fame. His realistic approach when interacting with fans and social media gives Mitchell credibility with his music. His mannerisms, body language, and overall temperament shown in interviews linked above display what kind of person Mitchell is. Although the artist’s fame came quickly, he explains how his mom encouraged him to keep performing. YouTube star Jake Paul sought out the young artist to be a part of his social media group called Team 10. During his time in the group, he met his future manager, who secured him a record deal after Mitchell left the group to pursue music. Mitchell released his six-track album Hopeful in 2018 that spoke about your average dabbles in angsty teenage romance with beautiful vocals and a range comparable to boy bands that capture hearts. Mitchell is the prime example of a newcomer musician on the verge of something greater, like Shawn Mendes in his 2014 era. MTV’s Push highlights new and breakout artists where artists Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, Eminem, and Future, among many others, have been nominated in the past for Video of the Year Awards, although Push awards artists in other areas like Artist of the Year, Best New Artist of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Collaboration. Mitchell was featured on MTV’s website in 2019, where exclusive interviews about his life and music career lie, and in 2020 MTV featured Mitchell as a nominee for Best New Artist. The singer has collaborated with artists like DJs Frank Walker and Steve Aoki and rapper Rich the Kid. Recently for the holidays, he released “Blame It on the Mistletoe” with Ella Henderson. It will be exciting to see who else Mitchell strikes a collaboration with in the future. Since late 2019, Mitchell has been talking about releasing his second soon to be album, Skyview. Heading into 2021, there’s no Skyview in sight, although on Instagram, Mitchell has been teasing the album's arrival with images of him recording in the studio. “If only could hear this…” he says on a Dec. 29 post. The artist may introduce 2021 with Skyview as a good luck charm for a better year. Since the album wasn’t released in 2020, he may drop the album by surprise. Keeping an eye on his social media will provide excitement for his fans.
Sources: AllMusic, Instagram, MTV, Seventeen, YouTube Images: Instagram Featured Image: Euphoria. Magazine