Passenger Busks His Way To International Stardom

Passenger is VH1’s You Oughta Know artist for the month of August, but before he earned that designation or had a worldwide #1 jam with “Let Her Go,” he made his living busking on the streets of his native United Kingdom and Australia. If you’re unfamiliar with the term “busking,” it involves setting up shop on a street corner, singing your heart out for passersby and hoping they drop some change in your guitar case as they cross your path.

“Travel’s been a massive part of my songwriting,” Passenger (aka Mike Rosenberg) told us when he came by VH1 headquarters recently. “It keeps everything moving, because you’re physically moving all the time. You’re seeing new things, meeting new people — for songwriting, that’s so important.”

Sadly, it was raining cats and dogs the day that he came through New York, so he wasn’t able to head outside and busk for his adoring fans. However, Passenger was kind enough to break out his acoustic guitar in the studio, and treated us to a magical three-song set. Here’s one of the tracks from that performance, “Let Her Go.”