Top of Skyview Stage
“The first time performing, I was super-nervous,” singer-songwriter AJ Mitchell shares. “But once I started singing my songs and hearing my fans sing them back, I think performing is the best feeling in the world! And now, I am just so excited every single time I get to go out on stage!” Insanely charismatic yet down-to-earth, he has no plans to slow down. At just 19, the Illinois-born musician has had blockbuster hits like “Girls,” “All My Friends,” “Slow Dance,” “Spring Break,” “Down In Flames,” and “Unstoppable” while getting ready for his full-length debut Skyview (“I am excited about letting everyone know who I am and where I came from. I’m really excited for people to get to know me a little bit more”).
Music has always been a part of Mitchell’s life as he started taking piano lessons at the age of 4. Little did he know that this would change his life. “I grew up in a musical household. I was always singing. When I was 6, I started writing my own songs. When I was 13, I started posting them online just to see what my friends and family thought,” he recalls. “Then about a year later, I got a shout-out and saw that I had over 15,000 followers in one day!” This social-media surge was more than just fifteen minutes of fame for him as Mitchell became the definition of an overnight sensation, skyrocketing him into an unknown stratosphere of stardom. “When it all happened, I was out camping. I woke up the next day and saw that I had all of these notifications going off,” he says. “When I saw this, I kept refreshing my phone, and I just saw that more and more people were following me. It was the best feeling in the world! And honestly, I had no idea that any of this was going to happen because I was just posting videos for my friends and family, so when I saw that, I just thought, ‘Oh, my God! People know who I am!’ I knew I always wanted to put my music out, but I didn’t know how to, so it’s really cool that I have social media to help me out!”
Mitchell’s impressive covers and dynamic songwriting abilities caught the eye of Internet superstar Jake Paul. When he was around 14, the young artist eventually moved out to L.A. to join Paul’s group of influencers called Team 10. Although Mitchell ended up parting ways with them, his time with Team 10 allowed him to connect with his manager and help secure a record deal.
Moreover, it’s worth noting that his influence goes beyond social media. “I think it’s really important to give back. That’s what I am all about,” says Mitchell, who has worked with Walking With Anthony, a non-profit with the mission to change the recovery outcome of spinal-cord injury, currently perceived as unchangeable. “Any time a charity event comes up, I am always down to be a part of it! I love giving back as much as I can.”
Writer: Samantha Orr
Photographer: Reka Nyari
Photographer Assistants: Jelena Ivovic & Diane Choi
Stylist: Cristina Wasserman
Stylist Assistant: Brian Robotham
Men’s Grooming: Jenny Gonzalez
Videographer: Bojan Ivovic
Editor: Eiko Watanabe
Special thanks to MarieBelle New York (@mariebelleofficial - mariebelle.com) & EPK Media (@myepk & @epkmedia - epkmedia.com)