Pop singer/songwriter Austin Mahone recently visited The Recording Academy's headquarters in Santa Monica, Calif., to participate in an exclusive GRAMMY.com interview. The Texas native discussed how social media helped him advance his music career, filming the music video for his song "Shadow" and collaborating with GRAMMY-winning producer RedOne on his debut EP, The Secret, among other topics.
"When I started to work with him I was in awe because he's RedOne," said Mahone. "He worked with Lady Gaga [and] Nicki Minaj … so it's like, 'Wow, I came from my bedroom, from my laptop [and] recording covers, to an actual studio working with RedOne'."
Born in San Antonio, 18-year-old Mahone began posting YouTube videos of himself performing covers of songs by artists such as Justin Bieber, Bruno Mars and Jason Mraz in 2011. The videos created enough impact to land him an eventual deal with Cash Money Records, the label home of GRAMMY winners Drake and Lil Wayne. Mahone subsequently released his first single "11:11," followed by "Say Somethin" and "Say You're Just A Friend" featuring GRAMMY-nominated rapper Flo Rida. Following a stint as the opening act for Taylor Swift's Red Tour in 2013, Mahone headlined MTV's Artist To Watch tour.
Co-produced by GRAMMY winner RedOne, The Secret features six tracks co-written by Mahone, including "All I Ever Need" and the Top 50 hit "Mmm Yeah" featuring GRAMMY-nominated rapper Pitbull. The EP debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard 200.
Mahone is currently in the midst of an international tour, with dates scheduled through September.