The 17-year-old “What About Love” singer has taken the world by storm this past year, performing at the VMAs (even taking one home for Artist to Watch) and for the president of the United States. Now he’s getting ready to release a new single and prove to everyone that he’s worth a listen.
You’ve had amazing success this past year — what has it been like for you?
Austin Mahone: It’s been amazing so far. Getting to travel and go to new countries, and meeting people, and making music, and winning the VMA! Also going to perform for President Obama! So many things.
What was the president like?
AM: He was really cool! The whole family was really nice — I met his daughters and the dog.
Was Bo a nice dog?
AM: Very nice dog. He wasn’t facing the camera, though. I got a picture and his butt was facing the camera.
Recently, you failed your driver’s test and you tweeted about it. What happened?
AM: Ah, it’s pretty embarrassing. I went the first time, and I got in the car and I was singing. And the lady got mad at me. She said, “Excuse me, can you stop singing?” So I said OK, and I started driving, and this is the part where I failed. There was a huge fire lane, and I’m pulling out, and I pulled straight through it and started driving — and she said, “You failed,” and I said, “What do you mean?” And she said, “Look where you are, you are in a fire lane.” And I said, “No I’m not!” But I was, so I went back to the building. Now the second time, OK, I have a Range Rover. And I have the screen thing, so I’m backing up and I didn’t know I was supposed to turn around, because my screen shows me where I’m backing up. So I’m not even looking behind me, and he failed me. The third time I passed!
You’ve also tweeted that you have a new single coming out. When can we expect it?
AM: I don’t have an exact date, maybe in like a month or so.
AM: Ah, you’ll just have to wait and see!
So people compare you to Justin Bieber fairly often. How does it make you feel?
AM: You know, it’s cool, it’s flattering. But I want people to let me show them that I’m different. I want them to give me a chance. They’ll be like, “Oh, this kid’s 17, he’s got hair, he’s Justin Bieber.” Like, what?! Just give me a chance, that’s all I ask.
You’ve been uploading some workout pictures. What’s your workout routine?
AM: Yes! I’ve been doing everything. Bis, tris, legs, abs, chest. I like to swim too.
Did you ever compete?
AM: No, I just like to swim in the ocean, and I live in Florida now so I’m right by the water.
You have a massive shoe collection. What is your favorite shoe?
AM: Actually this is my favorite shoe [points at shoes he’s wearing]. I just got them today. It’s Kanye’s Yeezy 2. They are super exclusive, and this part right here glows in the dark. So that’s pretty cool, and these are my favorite shoes.
Do you have a pair of Crocs?
AM: No, I don’t have Crocs.
Would you ever wear a pair of Crocs?
AM: No, I’d never wear a pair of Crocs, would you?
No. I wouldn’t wear a pair of Crocs.
AM: Are you sure?
Yes! Moving on… You opened for Taylor Swift. Anything you can tell us about her from being on tour with her?
AM: She’s just a super-fun, nice girl. Behind the stage she’s just super chill and likes to have fun. We had a food fight once. I threw some apples at her.
Who started it?
AM: We were tossing food back and forth in her dressing room and then it just turned into a food war.
Who came up with the name for your fans, “Mahomies”?
AM: I did. I was sitting in my room, like, two years ago, and I was just thinking that there are so many clever fan names out there. And I just thought if I had a huge fan base one day, what would I call them? So I just came up with Mahomies on the spot, and then it stuck!
You’re about to turn 18 — what are you most looking forward to?
AM: When I’m 18, I can finally order that paid programming stuff on TV. Like it always says, “Must be 18 or older to call,” so I’ll be able to call! I can finally buy some blenders from the TV.