The going has been good for Mitch James following a whirlwind rise to an enviable position within New Zealand's music scene but for the singer, it's been an enlightening personal journey just as much.
Persevering through challenges of his own off the stage has made him conscious of internal battles everyone faces individually.
"I've thought growing up that being successful and playing in front of heaps of people and making money would be the answer, it's awesome, don't get me wrong, but it's not the remedy for everything," James told Newshub.
The transition from playing in front of just two people to having thousands attend sold-out shows nationwide forced James to make sure he was in the best headspace to excel as a solo artist.
He's now conscious of taking time out when he needs it to reevaluate priorities and says maintaining balance has been key for a strong mindset.
The experiences shared in his music tell stories that connect with fans who can relate his words to their own lives. James says this "means the most" in his work.
But losing a close friend suddenly in September pushed him to dig deep during his personal growth as he reassessed what truly matters. Now, he's keen to do some good with the Kiwi stardom he has established.
James and his manager, Mitch Lowe - Callan's best mate, have launched Bring People Dancing, inviting people who could benefit from a night out to connect over music.
Lowe says it opens up a line of communication that may otherwise be closed.
"Music is more powerful than we can imagine and we just want to use it for something as significant as this," he told Newshub. "When we reflect on the life of our friend Callan, we remember the impact that music and events had on his life.
"When he lost his battle, we felt we could use our platform to give others a break in the same way and to show them they matter to us."
James said he wanted to create a legacy for Callan that gives others struggling an opportunity to forget their challenges at gigs.
"We know it's not the solution but if we can prove to people that you can have fun even if it's just for a couple of hours, life is worth living," he says.
Going forward he's aware of his limits, ready to tour internationally and is looking forward to releasing new music early 2020.
Holding the ability to influence others is not lost on James. It wasn't so long ago he would take inspiration from the likes of Ed Sheeran and Six60 to chase his goals, and is humbled that one day he could encourage others in the same way.
He says he's proud of being able to take each chance at showcasing his work having found widespread success with his debut self-titled album reaching gold, winning an MTV Europe Music Award and a sell-out nationwide tour in just two years.
James says it's been an incredible ride so far as he mindfully takes each win in his stride and is determined to make each move bigger than the next.
Watch the video for the full interview above.