I went to a Knicks game a few weeks ago, and people were like, “Oh, it’s your first Knicks game!” I actually have a photo of my first Knicks game. I was 12 years old and I was in a halftime talent competition, but I didn’t win because the kid who won sang “New York, New York,” and I was like, “Here’s a song I wrote about a boy in my class …”
Austin Mahone: New Album Coming 'Before The End of the Year'
The budding pop star discussed his new single “Dirty Work” and his mature new direction with Billboard.
While discussing his new single and upcoming album, Austin Mahone repeatedly uses the phrase “next-level.” The 19-year-old pop singer is clearly not satisfied with his career achievements thus far, which include a Top 10 debut with last year’s The Secret EP and a summer 2014 headlining tour that followed stadium dates in support of Taylor Swift.
Mahone is aiming much higher in 2015’s second half, and with “Dirty Work,” his best and most ambitious single to date, the singer is hinting at the musical potential that will be on full display with his proper debut album.
“I’m not sure if the album is definitely coming out in the fall, but it will be out before the end of the year,” Mahone tells Billboard. “After the album drops, I’ll definitely be putting a tour together. I’m excited to get back on the road.”
The San Antonio native says that he’s been spending the past few months finishing the album, working in Los Angeles with producers and songwriters like Jason Evigan, Rock City and the Monsters and the Strangerz. The latter produced the delightfully dizzy “Dirty Work,” which was released last week and finds Mahone operating over thick bass, canned horns and a melodic disco riff; lyrics like “I’m filthy down to the core/Leave all your stress at the door” mark a swift departure from the family-friendly tunes on The Secret.
“It was definitely a little bit difficult to get to this point, just because I wanted to find my sound and grow as an artist,” Mahone notes. “I basically was just writing with a bunch of different producers and writers, just trying to find a bunch of songs that will take me to that next level. It was a process, but we’ve got most of the album done right now.”
With The Secret – which included the Pitbull-assisted single “Mmm Yeah” and debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 chart – now firmly in the rearview, Mahone says that the 2014 EP was a “good stepping stone” to the sound he landed on for his album. “I thought it would be a good little project to put out,” he says of the eight-song effort. “My fans really enjoyed it, and I got a lot of touring out of that EP. There was a lot of exposure, and now it’s time to transition.”
Mahone is gearing up for a busy few months of promotion, but is thrilled to have “Dirty Work” out as a preview of what’s to come. “It feels great,” he says. “I want my fans to enjoy it, and hopefully I’ll bring some more fans into the mix.”
Pretty Girls hits the number one spot on this week’s Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart!!
Though its position isn’t governed by radio airplay but it’s based on reports submitted by a panel of DJs. It’s Britney’s ninth No. 1 on the chart and first since I Wanna Go in 2011. Iggy reigns for the fourth time.
Since Zayn Malik left One Direction in March, the boy band has continued on tour without him. And according to Harry Styles, these have been some of the best show’s they’ve ever had.
Speaking with EW, Styles said, “There have been incredible shows across Europe. Some of the best we’ve had! So we’re super excited about coming to America.”
Styles explained how the rest of the group has been picking up Mailk’s parts and “other than that, the shows have been going absolutely great.”
On “Story of My Life,” for instance, which previously featured a big solo by Malik, he said Liam Payne has stepped up for those high notes. Styles said, “He kicks them in the bollocks every show. He doesn’t hold back.”
Rihanna Passes Beyonce, Trails Only Madonna for Most Dance Club No. 1s
Rihanna reigns atop Billboard’s Dance Club Songs chart (dated June 27) for the 23rd time with “Bitch Better Have My Money” (2-1). With her latest leader, she eclipses Beyonce (22 No. 1s), who last topped the chart in February with “7/11.” Rihanna now trails only Madonna (45) for the most No. 1s in the chart’s nearly 39-year history, dating to its inception as a national survey in 1976.
Here’s an updated recap of Rihanna’s 23 Dance Club Songs leaders over the years. (For titles that spent multiple weeks at No. 1, total frames on top are noted in parentheses.) -Billboard
Rihanna’s Billboard Dance Club Songs No. 1s 2005, “Pon De Replay” 2006, “SOS” 2006, “Unfaithful” 2007, “We Ride” 2007, “Umbrella,” feat. Jay-Z (two)
2007, “Don’t Stop the Music” 2007, “Shut Up and Drive” 2008, “Disturbia” 2010, “Russian Roulette” 2010, “Hard,” feat. Jeezy 2010, “Rude Boy”