The story of Passenger is almost as compelling as his music; it’s a riches-to-rags-to-riches story, at least musically speaking. Started in the UK by Michael Rosenberg and Andrew Phillips ten years ago, Passenger was initially a five-piece band with a major label backing it. Shortly after the release of their debut album Wicked Man’s Rest in 2007, however, Phillips left, and the band subsequently scattered.
Undeterred, Michael Rosenberg, the only remaining “member,” did the unthinkable. Keeping the moniker Passenger, he took to the street corners as a full-time busker playing acoutic folk music. And for the past several years, that lifestyle has sustained him and funded the next four record projects. In the deepest sense of the word, Rosenberg is an independent artist.
Over time, Passenger has built a solid fan base, as well as a rapport in the indie music scene. His path eventually led to Australia, where he found community support with the likes of Lior, Elana Stone and Josh Pyke. And with last year’s album All the Little Lights, his music finally began gaining traction around the world. Its popularity has grown steadily since its release, egged on by opportunities to tour with the likes of Josh Pyke, John Butler Trio and Ed Sheearan. As of now, the album has broken the Top 10 in at least eleven countries, and the single “Let Her Go” (embedded below) has become a worldwide smash hit. And now the U.S. is finally getting around to hearing him, as the single currently sits at No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Passenger has walked a long road, but the journey is paying off. Take a listen and see why!