Austin Mahone: the next Justin Bieber?

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Ryan Feinberg, staff writer

With six million views on his hit music video “Say You’re Just a Friend” featuring Flo Rida, Austin Mahone is believed by some (ie. Huffington Post) to be on the road to stardom.

“Say You’re Just a Friend” has all the components of a commercially successful pop record: a catchy melody, the theme of a superficial relationship and Auto-Tune.

Mahone is a 16 year-old from San Antonio, Texas. Like Toronto native Justin Bieber, Mahone began his music career by uploading his music to YouTube. However, is Austin Mahone the next Justin Bieber?

Particularly similar are Mahone’s and Bieber’s uses of featured artists to gain attention. While Bieber featured Ludacris on his song “Baby,” which is the second most viewed YouTube video of all time, Mahone’s “Say You’re Just a Friend” features Flo Rida, another pop rapper.

Mahone is not the next Bieber. Although Mahone’s path seems to imitate that of Bieber, the parallel career routes will likely hurt Mahone. At the time of Bieber’s “big break” in 2007, the YouTube-breakout career was a relatively unheard of idea, but after Bieber’s success, the concept has not been so foreign. While Bieber’s success was original, Mahone’s seems unoriginal in comparison.

Only time will tell if Austin Mahone is the next Justin Bieber, but in the meantime, “belieb” in Justin.

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