San Antonio, Texas, native Austin Mahone is reconnecting with his roots on A Lone Star Story, and he sat down with Billboard‘s Rania Aniftos to talk about how it all came together.
“A Lone Star Story is an album I started at the beginning of the pandemic, so it’s definitely been a long time coming,” he says of his new project. “It didn’t necessarily take me three years to finish it, but just because everyone was so separated and I wasn’t trying to finish it on Zoom. That’s just kind of weird. I feel like my album deserves more than that.”
The 27-year-old adds that he’s excited to show his country side to the world. “I just wanted to do something that was more authentic and real to me, and something that would be different for everyone else,” he notes. “I would be pretty nervous [about going in a new direction] if it wasn’t country music that I was meshing with. Because I grew up on country music, I feel very comfortable in that space, even though I’ve never done country music in my life before. It feels right.”
Mahone, who gained recognition through his YouTube and Vine covers as a teenager, shares that “consistency” is what allowed him to break the social media star stigma and get taken seriously as a musical artist. “Once, I had uploaded a Justin Bieber cover of his song ‘Mistletoe,’ and that was the one that got me a lot of recognition. Ryan Seacrest had it on his show and people started picking it up,” Mahone recalls. “From there, that’s when I was getting a bunch of calls from management and labels.”
See the full interview with Austin Mahone above, including a fun acoustic performance of his A Lone Star Story hit, “Kuntry.”