Mitch Rowland

Mitchell Kyle Rowland (born July 13, 1988) is an American songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, best known for his work as a touring guitarist and for co-writing songs on all three of Harry Styles' solo albums. "Watermelon Sugar," a song he co-wrote with Styles, Tyler Johnson, and Thomas Hull, was nominated for and won Best Pop Solo Performance at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards in 2021.[1] Rowland, along with Styles, Johnson, and Hull, also won the Brit Award for Song of the Year for "Watermelon Sugar" at the 2021 Brit Awards.[2]

Early life and education

Rowland grew up 15 miles outside of Columbus, Ohio in the city of Dublin, Ohio.[3] He played in the jazz band at Dublin Coffman High School.[3] After attending college at the University of Cincinnati,[4] he played drums for the indie rock band Lionel the Jailbird.[5] After leaving Lionel the Jailbird, he played in the band Total Navajo with audio engineer Ryan Nasci.[6][7]

Career

Styles (left) and Rowland (right) playing London's O2 Arena in 2018.

Ryan Nasci was the audio engineer on tracks for the album that would become Harry Styles when a session guitarist dropped out last-minute.[7] He contacted Rowland, who he was also rooming with at the time, about whether or not he would be interested in the gig.[7] According to Styles, Rowland had never been in a studio before.[8] Rowland ultimately co-wrote and played guitar and percussion for nine songs on Harry Styles, including Styles' debut single, "Sign of the Times,"[9] which debuted at number four on the Billboard Hot 100.[10] After the album's release, he accompanied Styles as lead guitarist in his band for Harry Styles: Live on Tour.[11] According to Styles' then-music director and producer Thomas Hull, Rowland had "never toured like [that] before" so he was having to "learn on the road."[11] In September 2017, Rowland, Styles, and producers Tyler Johnson and Thomas Hull (also known as Kid Harpoon), recorded "Watermelon Sugar" in Nashville on a day off from Live on Tour.[12]

Mitch Rowland playing She on the guitar in 2021.

Following Live on Tour, Rowland co-wrote five additional songs on Styles' second album, Fine Line, including the single "Golden,"[13] which eventually peaked at number 57 on the Billboard Hot 100.[14] He also did session work for the album on electric guitar, drums, slide guitar, acoustic guitar, glockenspiel, and background vocals.[13] Rowland's guitar solo in the song "She," which was (according to Styles) written while they were both under the influence of psychadelic mushrooms,[15] has been praised by Rob Sheffield from Rolling Stone as "a cosmic guitar voyage."[16] Fine Line was nominated for Album of the Year at the 2020 Brit Awards,[17] and for Best Pop Vocal Album[18] at the 2021 Grammy Awards. "Watermelon Sugar" received a Grammy Award for Best Pop Solo Performance[1] and a Brit Award for British Single of the Year.[2] In 2020, Rolling Stone ranked Fine Line number 491 on its list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, making it the most recent album to be included.[19] All three songs mentioned in the Rolling Stone list as album highlights were co-written by Rowland.[19]

Harry Styles: Love on Tour was initially supposed to start April 2020, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[20] Styles stayed with Rowland and his wife, Sarah Jones, during parts of the pandemic.[21] Before tour started again, Styles and Rowland co-wrote "Music for a Sushi Restaurant" and "Keep Driving" together.[22][23] Rowland also co-wrote two songs on Cam's 2020 album The Otherside: "Forgetting You"[24] and "Happier for You".[25] He also did session work on the album, playing drums, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, and mallets.[26] When Love on Tour started again in 2021, Rowland played guitar.[27] In January 2021, Rowland appeared as himself in Styles' music video for the song "Treat People With Kindness."[28] Styles' third album, Harry's House, released on May 20, 2022.[29] In addition to his writing credits on the album, Rowland also did session work playing guitar, bass, percussion, and drums.[23] "Music for a Sushi Restaurant" debuted at number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100, marking Rowland's third top-ten hit as a songwriter.[30]

Personal life

Rowland is married to English drummer Sarah Jones.[31] Jones and Rowland met while rehearsing for Harry Styles: Live on Tour together.[32] They have one child together, born in the spring of 2021.[31][33] Rowland and Jones reside in London.[33]

Discography

Year Artist Album Notes
2014 Total Navajo Eyelids EP Co-Writer
2017 Harry Styles Harry Styles Co-Writer
2019 Harry Styles Fine Line Co-Writer
2020 Cam The Otherside Co-Writer
2022 Harry Styles Harry's House Co-Writer

Filmography

Year Title Role Notes
2017 Harry Styles: Behind the Album Himself Documentary

References

  1. ^ a b "Harry Styles". www.grammy.com. Retrieved 2022-07-06.
  2. ^ a b "2021 British Single announced!". BRIT Awards. Retrieved 2022-07-06.
  3. ^ a b Lindquist, David. "5 ways Harry Styles charted his own course in Indianapolis". The Indianapolis Star. Retrieved 2022-07-06.
  4. ^ Galster, Madison. "Rock the Vote doesn't rock". The News Record. Retrieved 2022-07-06.
  5. ^ "Lionel The Jailbird". Podomatic. November 14, 2011. Retrieved 2022-07-06.
  6. ^ Christman, Ed (2017-10-11). "Publishing Briefs: Stellar Songs & Sony/ATV Land Diztortion; Primary Wave Partners With Brenda Russell; UMPG & Mirrorball Partner". Billboard. Retrieved 2022-07-06.
  7. ^ a b c Dunn, Frankie (2017-05-12). "harry styles's album is out now. here's everything you need to know about it". i-D. Retrieved 2022-07-06.
  8. ^ Roth, Madeline. "11 Things We Learned From Harry Styles: Behind the Album". MTV News. Retrieved 2022-07-06.
  9. ^ Harry Styles (Media notes) Harry Styles. Columbia Records / Erskine Records. 2017.
  10. ^ Trust, Gary (2017-04-17). "Ed Sheeran Tops Hot 100 for 12th Week, as Harry Styles Starts at No. 4". Billboard. Retrieved 2022-07-06.
  11. ^ a b Spanos, Brittany (2017-09-29). "Inside Harry Styles' Intimate First Solo Tour". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2022-07-06.
  12. ^ McKenna, Lyndsey; Lorusso, Marissa (2020-03-16). "Harry Styles: Tiny Desk Concert". NPR. Retrieved 2022-07-06.
  13. ^ a b Fine Line (booklet). Columbia. 2019. 19439705122
  14. ^ "Harry Styles". Billboard. Retrieved 2022-07-06.
  15. ^ Sheffield, Rob (2019-12-13). "Harry Styles Reveals the Secrets Behind 'Fine Line'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2022-07-06.
  16. ^ Johnston, Maura; Sheffield, Rob (2022-06-14). "Every Harry Styles Song, Ranked". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2022-07-06.
  17. ^ "Brit Awards 2020: Full list of nominees". BBC News. 2020-02-17. Retrieved 2022-07-06.
  18. ^ "2021 GRAMMYs Awards Show: Complete Winners & Nominees List". www.grammy.com. Retrieved 2022-07-06.
  19. ^ a b "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone. 2020-09-22. Retrieved 2022-07-06.
  20. ^ Lavin, Will (2022-01-19). "Harry Styles announces rescheduled 2022 world tour dates". NME. Retrieved 2022-07-06.
  21. ^ Bowles, Hamish (2020-11-13). "Playtime With Harry Styles: "You Can Never Be Overdressed"". Vogue. Retrieved 2022-07-06.
  22. ^ Harry Styles - Zane Lowe & Apple Music ‘Harry’s House’ Interview, retrieved 2022-07-06
  23. ^ a b Harry's House (Media notes) Harry Styles. Columbia Records / Erskine Records. 2022.
  24. ^ "CAM RELEASES NEW SONG "FORGETTING YOU" – Sony Music Canada". www.sonymusic.ca. Retrieved 2022-07-07.
  25. ^ "Cam Returns After Five Years with 'The Otherside': 'I Feel Thankful to Be Able to Gift Music to People Right Now'". Sounds Like Nashville. 2020-11-05. Retrieved 2022-07-07.
  26. ^ The Otherside - Cam | Credits | AllMusic, retrieved 2022-07-07
  27. ^ Spanos, Brittany (2021-10-04). "Harry Styles Sent Us Back to 2019 -- and the Seventies -- at Glitter-Slicked MSG Set". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2022-07-06.
  28. ^ Harry Styles: Treat People with Kindness (Music Video 2021) - IMDb, retrieved 2022-07-07
  29. ^ "Harry Styles Announces New Album 'Harry's House'". Stereogum. 2022-03-23. Retrieved 2022-07-06.
  30. ^ Trust, Gary (2022-05-31). "Harry Styles Returns to No. 1 on Billboard Hot 100 With 'As It Was,' Debuts 3 Songs in Top 10". Billboard. Retrieved 2022-07-06.
  31. ^ a b Stated by Jones on The Howard Stern Show, national radio syndication, May 18, 2022.
  32. ^ Stated by Styles on The Howard Stern Show, national radio syndication, March 5, 2020.
  33. ^ a b "Harry Styles' drummer Sarah Jones: From Mitch Rowland relationship to Instagram handle, here's everything we know". Capital. Retrieved 2022-07-07.