Rising singer/songwriter Mitch Rossell hardly needed any outside inspiration for his current single, “Ran Into You.” He only had to look from within. “Ran Into You” delves into the character of a man who spends his life avoiding intimacy until finally meeting that one life-changing person that he lets into his world. As the guy muses, ‘I ran like hell to nowhere fast/From myself from my past,’ before summing up in the revelatory chorus, ‘All I ever knew was running/‘Til I ran into you.’ And the man partaking in all that running, Rossell reveals, is actually himself.
“It’s me,” he tells Sounds Like Nashville in matter-of-fact tone. “The song is based on a real-life event, as they say.” He goes on to explain that the same malady afflicting the man in the song definitely dogged him at one point in his life. “I’m married now, but when I was younger, it was really hard to get close to me,” Rossell says. “Everybody has their own issues to work through and that was mine.” Like the song’s protagonist, Rossell became quite adept at scampering from situations that threatened his protective inner sanctum. “I always ran from people when they were getting too close to me,” he says candidly. “I didn’t even realize I was doing it. Then I met the right person and everything changed. I feel like I can sing this with a lot of honesty.”
“Ran Into You,” which Rossell wrote with Tommy Karlas and Dave Turnbull, features a guest harmony vocal by Trisha Yearwood, who provides plenty of emotional punch on the song’s chorus. Rossell hatched the idea for a duet after listening to the mix. “The chorus melody just stood out and called for a harmony vocal,” he explains. “I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to have another voice on here.’ And Trisha was the first singer I thought of.” True pro that she is, Yearwood rendered her part with a technician’s ease. Rossell remembers, “She went in and did her vocal and it was incredible. She pretty much nailed it the first time. We didn’t have to tweak anything as far as I remember. Trisha really takes the song to another level.”
Wrangling her in for the vocal wasn’t terribly difficult to pull off, as Rossell enjoyed a certain “in” with Yearwood, mainly through his friendship with her superstar husband Garth Brooks. That goes back a few years, when Rossell began e-mailing songs to Brooks for his 2014 album, Man Against Machine. Ultimately, Brooks did not use any of the selections, though he came away impressed with Rossell’s writing. They stayed in touch and Rossell eventually landed a coveted Brooks cut, the 2017 single “Ask Me How I Know,” which Rossell wrote himself. It was released as the second single from Brooks’ album Gunslinger and became Brooks’ first No. 1 single in ten years. Rossell later opened for Brooks on his massive World Tour. This past year, the relationship continued as Rossell wrote three songs for Brooks’ 2020 album Fun – “Dive Bar,” Brooks’ smash duet with Blake Shelton, “All Day Long,” and “That’s What Cowboys Do,” all co-written with Brooks and other writers. Rossell notes that Brooks’ mentoring and leadership by example have proven invaluable to him as a young entertainer.
“Watching him and how he handles his business is a pretty smart move,” Rossell says with a slight laugh. “He is a smart businessman, but he’s just a wise person in general, whether it’s music or any aspect of life. I’ve learned so much as a person from Garth and I’m glad that I was able to be a part of his career in a small way. I know that he has changed my life.” One lesson he’ll take to the bank with him – treat the people around you with respect and they’ll give it back in return. “Garth takes care of everybody,” Rossell explains. “The people that he has on his tour will bend over backward and fight for him because he’s so good to them.”
Rossell’s songwriting success for Brooks has certainly helped pay some necessary bills. He’s continuing down that path with a new song he’s writing with the award-winning Ashley McBryde, who has proven to be an “awesome” composing partner. “It’s been great to hang around with her,” Rossell raves. “She is super talented and so nice. There is a reason that she has that huge fan base. We hope to finish the song soon and get it out there.”
Now, the performing part of his career is taking off as well, with “Ran Into You” and his hit from last year, aptly titled “2020,” which landed at No. 1 on the iTunes Country Chart. So, could an EP or album project be looming ever closer, bringing his career full circle?