2.9 reading response 5: Mitch James

personal response of Mitch James story of how he came to be a singer-songwriter and his new debut song 21. 

Mitch James is a New Zealand singer-songwriter producing no fixed abode, all the ways to say goodbye, move on, saving time and his new single 21. Mitch James began his musical journey at age 14 by teaching himself the guitar. The Auckland born and bred musician would spend his morning tea and lunch times at Saint Kentigern College using the school’s music room playing guitar, where he learned from YouTube videos. “every moment spent in the music center, just playing guitar.” At age 17, Mitch left school and got a job cleaning cars, saving up enough money for a one-way ticket to London, where he hoped to build an audience. Arriving in London with a £20 note, zero contacts and no experience performing live, he attended open mic nights, hoping to land a paid performance gig. However, the Ed Sheeran blueprint Mitch was influenced by, of going to London and gigging every night to land a recording contract, didn’t get off to a good start. “I didn’t realise that the tube into London was more than £20 so I had to jump the barrier, got off at Hyde Park, jumped the barrier there, then the hostel I was staying at was £18 a night, so I went and got a bottle of water, slept, woke up and started busking the next day.” After the rude awakening experience of his first day in London, Mitch took up busking as his everyday work, barely earning enough for dinner and a hostel bed. Many times he would ask at his gigs “has anyone got a couch for me to stay on.” Eventually, he landed a paying gig, but after only a few months, the venue shut down, and Mitch began busking around Europe, before ending his three-year venture in Europe and returning home. Instead of returning to Auckland, Mitch moved down south to Dunedin, where he posted covers of songs on his YouTube channel. Fellow Kiwi artist MAALA recommended him to Sony, who later signed him. On December 2, 2016, his debut single “No Fixed Abode,” which is a reflection of his time in Europe, was released. A week later, his second single “Move On” was released, which picked up nation-wide airplay in New Zealand. After both singles received millions of streams on Spotify, Mitch announced that he would release his debut EP in 2017. “There are 3 flats together on Castle St, 1 where my mates stayed, 1 where I stayed on the couch and 1 with a girl I used to sort-of see. My mates were idiots and stole their quiches, broke windows, the whole 9 yards. I was the middleman for all of this shit.”

 

Mitch James recent song 21 which I believed to be about how he wants to go back to the age of 21 and how he remembers the old times; with his ex-girlfriend, smoking, drinking, questioning that he is missing home and how he thinks he’s lost at the age of 23. “Stealing bottles that we’d drink out in the street Pulling smoke into our lungs, Who would have thought I’d be so lost at 23? Oh lord, take me back to 21” I hear the ake in his voice and the questioning he’s asking himself through the lyrics. I felt a connection to this song as I feel it relates to the generation I am growing up in, it reflects on how you should value each stage of your life and the actions/decisions you make as decisions had choices and choices have consequences, good and bad. 

mitch James shows gutty determination, and belief in himself, he shows his audience that if you have a goal or dream, take the chance, take the long road, try and never give up cause that dream can always turn into reality. 

overall my personal opinion on the song 21 by Mitch James, is emotional, inspiration, specific, and he uses his expression of his feelings through lyrics and chords. 

 

[Verse 1]

I thought about the place tonight

Where we both used to drink

And I remember when a neighbour broke your window

And when it used to rain

The water wore away the paint and left a puddle on the floor under your table

How ya been since the last time that I saw you?

‘Cause I think about it often

And I miss you if I’m honest

 

[Pre-Chorus]

Yeah, I think I’m doing fine, but I don’t know

‘Cause the nights can get so cold

And I’m always thinking back to when we were

 

[Chorus]

Stealing bottles that we’d drink out in the street

Pulling smoke into our lungs

Who would have thought I’d be so lost at 23?

Oh lord, take me back to 21

 

[Verse 2]

I know it’s not that long, but it seems longer on my own

And I am missing home, more than you could know

And yeah, I bet that nothing’s changed

The place will always stay the same

I wish I could say the same about me though

Do you remember us the same way that I do?

Do you think about it often?

‘Cause it’s all I seem to do

 

[Pre-Chorus]

Yeah, I think I’m doing fine, but I don’t know

‘Cause the nights can get so cold

And I’m always thinking back to when we were

 

[Chorus]

Stealing bottles that we’d drink out in the street

Pulling smoke into our lungs

Who would have thought I’d be so lost at 23?

Oh lord, take me back to 21

Oh lord, take me back to 21

 

[Chorus]

Stealing bottles that we’d drink out in the street

Pulling smoke into our lungs

Who would have thought I’d be so lost at 23?

Oh lord, take me back to 21

Oh lord, take me back to 21

Oh lord, take me back to 21

 

 

 

 

One Reply to “2.9 reading response 5: Mitch James”

  1. A very interesting outline of this singer/song-writer’s life thus far, Portia. I am looking forward to reading about how this song and the lyrics connect to the artist’s experiences and/or beliefs.
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