Q&A With Austin Mahone On Being The Next Big Teen Star, Rising To Fame From YouTube & His Show On Awesomeness TV

Watch out for Austin Mahone! The sixteen-year-old pop singer who shot to fame after recording covers on YouTube is quickly taking over — literally! — with his own show aptly called “Austin Mahone Takeover” on Awesomeness TV. He’s a star to know with dozens of viral videos under his belt, a loyal fan base known as Mahomies, and an upcoming tour with Taylor Swift. We chatted with Austin about his success and how he’s become a favorite among tweens and teens.

Austin MahoneYpulse: What inspired you to start making videos on YouTube in the first place?

Austin Mahone: My best friend and I were just chilling in our rooms and we were bored out of our minds because we live in this little town that had nothing going on — no movie theater, no bowling alley, no mall. So we had nothing to do and we would just go online, watch people on YouTube and say “Oh, that seems kinda cool.” We just decided to make a channel and post videos, and it took off.

YP: You’re often compared to Justin Bieber. How do you feel about that?

AM: I think it’s great because he’s so successful and talented, but it can get annoying sometimes because I’m not trying to be the next Justin Bieber. I want to do my own thing and be my own person. I think people see that I’m 16 and also started on YouTube, but I’m really trying to make a name for myself without being “the next Justin Bieber.”

YP: What can you tell us about your upcoming album? What kind of sounds and styles are you going for?

AM: My album is hopefully coming out by the end of the year — I’m trying to give it to my fans as a holiday present — and it’s going to be like "Say Somethin." So it’s happy, and upbeat, but there will also be some ballads on there, some urban songs, maybe a little R&B. But overall, it’s mostly going to be like "Say Somethin."

YP: You’re going…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“[Anna Victoria is] a good role model to women and is changing the way the world looks at fitness and body image.”—Female, 21, CA

Abercrombie & Fitch is going gender-neutral for their new kids’ clothing line. The “Everybody Collection” features “tops, bottoms, and accessories” for five-14-year-old boys and girls. A&F’s Brand President explained their decision to appeal to The Genreless Generation: "Parents and their kids don’t want to be confined to specific colors and styles, depending on whether shopping for a boy or a girl.'' The line of 25 new styles will be rolling out online and to 70 stores, starting this month. (Today)

Millennials & Gen Z already think the Nintendo Switch is cool, and now the brand is giving them more ways to use it. They’re introducing Nintendo Labo, “cardboard-based, interactive DIY experiences” for the Switch, tapping into the “toys-to-life” trend. The variety kit lets players construct five different “Toy-Con” experiences that include turning the Joy-Con controller into a motorbike handle complete with a throttle that can be twisted to accelerate, and creating a piano that senses which keys are pressed to produce the correct musical note. (Kidscreen)

YouTube is pulling Tide Pod Challenge videos from its platform. Teens started eating Tide pods when memes showcasing their Gusher-like colors went viral. The brand has since issued warnings not to eat the pods, and some stores have even begun locking up the product. YouTube has explained the decision to take down the popular pod-eating videos as a continuation of their policy to “prohibit content that’s intended to encourage dangerous activities that have an inherent risk of physical harm." Some are suggesting that pressure from parent company Procter & Gamble may have also been a factor. (Mashable)

The streaming wars are continuing, but audiences are turning to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime for very different kinds of content. Hub Entertainment Research found original content is winning users' time on Netflix, while over half watch Hulu for its syndicated collection, and movies are most popular on Amazon Prime. The study also found that most Americans overall spend their entertainment time watching TV (40%), but 18-24-year-olds are most likely to engage with gaming and online video, like YouTube. (Quartz)

Outdoor Voices embraced Millennials’ minimal moment to break onto the athleisure scene. The brandless brand goes for a minimalist aesthetic with pops of color, and sees itself as an anti-Nike of sorts. The founder explains that they’re “a recreational Nike” because “With Nike and so many other brands, it’s really about being an expert, being the best. With OV, it’s about how you stay healthy—and happy.” Whatever they’re doing, it’s working: the company has grown rapidly since it was founded in 2013, climbing a startling 800% in 2016 alone. (Vogue)

“I saw some heartbreaking stories in the internet, and decided to look up some international charities and donate to them.”—Male, 20, WA

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