By ANTOINETTE BUENO September 14, 2012
You might not know Austin Mahone’s name yet, but with a crazy-loyal fan base reminiscent of the boy band era and a catchy single Say Somethin blowing up the radio charts, Austin is clearly shaping up to be the next big phenomenon in pop music.
In an exclusive interview with ET, Austin talks about getting his start on YouTube, his dedicated fans and those ever-present Justin Bieber comparisons.
Austin first began posting videos on YouTube with a friend in 2010, and their popularity quickly skyrocketed, surprising Austin who had never thought of singing professionally until then.
“It was just all in fun at first and then it started to escalate,” he tells ET about his initial video postings.
The viral videos led to a massive online following that proved to be dedicated — his video covering Bieber’s Mistletoe became so popular that it eclipsed the views of Bieber’s original, and he sold out New York’s famed Best Buy Theater within minutes of sales in June.
“It makes me feel so amazing to know there’s people out here that support me and follow me on Twitter, and watch my shows on YouTube and come to my concert so I’m very thankful,” he says about his young fan base who refer to themselves as “Mahomies.”
ET recently got a taste of the Austin pandemonium, when he took us behind the scenes of his first music video for Say Somethin.
“If I see my fans crying, I just want to give them a hug … and tell them I love them,” he says about the often-overwhelmed girls.
But is being hailed as the second coming of Justin Bieber bothersome to the 16-year-old Texan?
“It could be bad and good — it’s good because he’s so successful and I’m being compared to such an awesome artist, but you know, I don’t want to be the next him,” he says. “I want to separate myself and do my own thing.”
Austin will certainly get that chance with his new album set to come out this fall. But for Mahomies who just can’t wait that long, Austin is currently hosting an open call for Smule’s new social karaoke app Sing!, which was featured in his Say Somethin music video. Austin’s fans in particular can follow “austinmahone” in the app, listen to him sing Say Somethin as a solo performance, and join his open call and sing the song with Austin himself as a group performance. To hear Austin explain the Sing! app himself, click here.
Austin will make his television performance debut on Live! with Kelly & Michael on September 20.