On The Row: Mitch Rossell

Mitch Rossell. Photo: Haley Crow/MusicRow

Mitch Rossell has turned heads in Nashville as the songwriter behind hits including Garth Brooks’ “Ask Me How I Know,” which topped the Billboard Country Airplay chart and Mediabase/Country Aircheck chart in 2017. For Rossell, the sole writer on “Ask Me How I Know,” the chart-topper is also a testament to staying true to his own artistry.

“When I came to town the whole bro-country thing was starting to be really big and I grew up on the Garth and ‘90s country stuff. What I was doing wasn’t popular at the time. I kept doing it for a few years, had no traction,” Rossell recalls of his early days in Nashville.

When Brooks put out the word to Nashville publishers and songwriters that he was looking for songs to include on his 2014 album Man Against The Machine, Rossell pitched the legendary entertainer a few songs.

“I sent a cold pitch email through the email address he had distributed around town to publishers. He liked them and we started hanging out and writing a little bit,” Rossell said.

Though none of the songs Rossell pitched at the time made the Man Against The Machine album, the friendship was an encouragement. Two years later, Rossell penned “Ask Me How I Know,” and sent it to Brooks for feedback.

“I was cutting my own EP and I wanted to see what he thought,” Rossell said. “He said he really wanted to cut it but he didn’t want to take it away from me because I was trying to do the artist thing. I said, ‘Take it!’ So that’s how that happened. Looking back, had I not stuck to my guns and written the kind of music I love, there’s no way he would have liked what I had written if I had changed or tried to do what the rest of the town was doing.”

 

Mitch Rossell with MusicRow Chart Director Alex Parry. Photo: Haley Crow/MusicRow

The song, which was featured on Brooks’ album Gunslinger, would earn Brooks his first No. 1 country radio song since 2007.

Rossell followed that by co-writing “Dive Bar,” which wound up as a collaboration for Brooks and Blake Shelton, as well as Brooks’ top 10 hit “All Day Long.”

Rossell, signed to Wrensong Publishing, is now focusing more fully on his own career as an artist, having recently released the single “All I Need To See.” He opened for Brooks’ world tour in 2016 and has earned more than two million streams.

During a recent visit to the MusicRow Magazine office, the Chattanooga native performed a trio of new songs, including “All I Need To See.”

“I wrote this about my wife—I wrote it a few months after we met, so I didn’t even really know her that well at the time. I wrote this based on some things we had experienced and some characteristics of her but it’s crazy because as the years have gone by, it’s become our life.”

He also offered “That’s Why I Call You Son,” which pulls from his own relationship with his father, as well as the clever, lost-love ballad “Hollywood.”

“I dated this girl for years on and off that lived in California. She couldn’t commit and looking back, I’m glad it didn’t work out, because I have a great relationship now, but I tried to write this song with the emotions I felt at that time.”

Rossell is currently in the studio recording music for a new project.

Mitch Rossell with MusicRow Magazine staffers.

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About the Author

Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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