We met actor and singer Mitchel Musso when he was at Planet Hollywood in Manhattan recently. His latest album is “Brain Storm.”
Do you write all the lyrics for your songs?
I do now. Did I go before on my first record I did not write all my lyrics. And some songs, I did not write anything. And that’s the truth of the matter. But on my new record, yes, I wrote every single lyric. I co-wrote with my older brother.
What song of yours gets you most pumped up?
There’s a couple of them on the new record. “I Got Your Heart,” which is on my new record. And that album is called “Brain Storm.” Probably “I Got Your Heart” because it’s got a rock and roll, and rap, hip-hop breakdowns. It’s one of those songs that’s not the best on the album, but onstage, performance wise, it’s like the best.
What have your parents done to help your career?
Everything. They’ve let me be and do what I wanted to do as far as progress and excel. As far as being an entertainer, they’ve been there every step of the way with support, and that’s about it.
How do you find time for singing, writing and acting?
You don’t. You just kind of make it happen. It’s a lot. Do I recommend it? Maybe. As far as music, yeah, I recommend music. Everybody should definitely learn how to play an instrument and/or sing. Because it’s good. Music really gets your brain off a lot of things. There’s really good music out there. There’s really good messages out there.
Who or what inspired you to write music?
I don’t think there’s like one person. There’s no one in my life that’s my icon, but I think my older brother definitely inspired me to become a singer. I kind of did the piano thing myself. My parents, when I was like 5, got a piano; I kept going. I didn’t know I loved it, and eventually I learned the drums, and eventually I learned the guitar. But I learned the guitar from my older brother, and he was a musician before I was. It’s kind of why I wanted to do it. You always end up to be like your older sibling.
Do you ever write about someone you know in your songs?
Sometimes, I do. Sometimes, I write about things that actually happened in my life, and most of the time when I do that, I have to spice it up a little bit so I’ll say things like “it didn’t happen but it’s an overall guideline of a story that actually happened.”
If you could have a sing-off with anybody, who would that be?
I don’t know if I would compete against anybody. If I could sing with somebody, it would be like, honestly it would be like a rapper. As weird as that sounds. Like Eminem, somebody like that. I love the way he sounds. I love hearing Justin Timberlake and T.I. come up with a song together. And/or like Ziggy and Bob Marley, things like that where someone’s singing the chorus so it comes out a rap.
Are you friends with Miley Cyrus and Emily Osment, and are you considering doing a show with them?
Yes, I am friends with them. Everyone gets super busy sometimes; I’m in New York, and you don’t know where everybody else is. I just finished a show with Emily, three days ago in Boston. I was just with her. Everybody’s so busy, everybody’s got something going on. Yeah, we’re still all good friends, of course, and we will be friends for the rest of our lives, I’m sure.
Do you get nervous when you perform live?
No. And here’s what I’m going to tell you about this. Being nervous and/or like being embarrassed, these are feelings that come from somebody else that effect you. It’s not like you’re embarrassed by yourself — ‘oh, did that person just see me doing this,’ it’s embarrassing, do you know what I mean? You have to cut those words out of your vocabulary. Because if you get rid of embarrassed and get rid of nervous, it’s so much better. You’re much better off. Because there’s no reason; why would you let someone else affect the way you think and feel.
What started you to be on “Hannah Montana”?
I didn’t necessarily want to be part of anything that I’ve done. It’s just that you go on these auditions, and you’re auditioning for these parts, and eventually you book something, and you do it. But it just so happens that “Hannah Montana,” I was that character, that goofy awkward character at the time. But I could pull off the comedy character. Regular, very average, basic Malibu beachy surfer kid. I had — it really just depends if you feel it or not. I learned to love the character, I loved playing Oliver for 4-1/2-5 years. The show’s been playing for . . . we’re on our fourth season, which means that we’ve actually been filming like for 7 years.
Did you like to sing and act when you were little?
Of course, yes. It all grew on me as everything. But yeah, I definitely feel like I had a calling for both of them.
What is your favorite song that is not yours?
It’s called “Every Time I Touch You” by my older brother, Mason. It’s on his new record. It’s not out yet, so you guys will hear it soon. It’s going to be No. 1. His records are going to whip my records. That’s a good thing for me, because I always want my brother to be one step ahead of me in the music world. I’ll take the acting, he can have the music.
What is your favorite place to perform?
I love New York City, that’s for sure. I love big places like Chicago. I like going home to Dallas. I was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. Between there and going out of the country. I love going to places like Mexico. I love going to Hawaii, I like going to Europe. It’s so different out there, because they’re not used to seeing so many people. Like if I were to play a show out here, I would sell like 3,000 tickets; in Europe, it’s like 30,000 tickets. It’s so ridiculous. It’s because they never get to see these new acts and things like that. It’s very difficult to make your way all the way out to Europe on tour.