Austin Harris Mahone (/məˈhoʊn/; born April 4, 1996) is an American singer and songwriter. Mahone gained popularity performing covers of pop songs on YouTube. He released three albums to date. Famous releases include "Say Somethin", "Say You're Just a Friend" featuring Flo Rida, "What About Love", "Mmm Yeah" with Pitbull. After being dropped by his label, he continues releasing music independently.
Just How It Happened (2014)
- One day when I was twelve or thirteen, I was hanging out with some friends, and I heard T-Pain for the first time. Immediately, I was like, Oh, man, what's this? This is different from what I'm used to listening to, and I love it. By this time, I wanted something new, so I started listening to more R&B and hip-hop. From there, I started listening to Lil Wayne, Chris Brown, Drake, and all those guys. At the time, I thought country and R&B were totally different worlds, but now that I actually spend most of my life singing and writing and thinking about music, I can see they're kind of similar. Before you say I'm crazy, think about this: In country music, the singers are really soulful, and you can just hear all the emotion on their voices. They mean everything they say. And R&B is the same way. It's like every note, every word, is telling you exactly how the singers feel about what they're singing about. It's just that in country music, all that feeling is usually about a truck, and in R&B, it's more often about a girl. And for me, girls are a lot more fun to sing about than a truck. All joking aside, I feel like all music is the same, when you get down to it. It's about communicating emotion. And that's what I love about it so much. I wouldn't want to spend my life any other way.
- p. 26
- I guess I was always looking beyond what was right in front of me. I wanted to listen and play music that wasn't the normal Texas thing. More than that, I wanted to see the world beyond my hometown.
- p. 26
- There was one place I really wanted to go, more than any other: New York City. Maybe it was from watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV for all those years, or because I knew so much amazing music and culture and food came out of there, but that was always it for me, and I just had to see it for myself someday. Finally, in the summer of 2010, my granddad took me on a trip to NYC, just me and him. We had a great time. We walked around, checking out everything, got some classic New York City hot dogs from a street vendor, and saw the Statue of Liberty. Best of all, we spent time with my mom's first cousin Mac Demy. He's a real musician with a small studio in his apartment and an album available on iTunes. I was immediately into learning everything about his musical career. It was like this whole new world opened up for me, and I wanted to find a way to join it. He even said I should write a few songs and come back and record them the next summer. The whole time I was there, I had so much energy. It was like the best place in the world, and I wanted more and more. "I love New York," I told Granddad. "I want to come back again."
- p. 28-29
- Granddad smiled at me before he said anything. It was a smile he gave when he was worried about disappointing me. "It's going to be hard," he said. "It's expensive. You might not come back for a long, long time." I nodded and took that in. I knew my mom had always worked hard for everything we had, and that Granddad and Mema helped us out, too. And I knew soon I'd be working at something. But I was determined I'd get back there before long. And, man, when I finally did, it was even better than I could have ever dreamed. But that was the amazing thing about my family: Even when something seemed kind of far-off, and maybe impossible, they always let me know it might be hard to get there, it might take work, but I should always dare to dream. And so now that it's paying off, I feel like all of this is for them as much as it is for me. It makes everything that's happened even better.
- p. 29-31
- When I was growing up, I never thought much about living in San Antonio, or whether or not I liked it there. It was just where I lived, and I liked where I lived. It was where my family, my friends, and the music store I loved were, and that was all I needed.
- p. 33
- Now, the funny thing about growing up in Texas is that people who aren't from there just assume we ride horses to school and do all this weird stuff, like we're living in a rodeo every day of our lives, when of course that's not true. Or at least that's what I always thought. And then I moved to La Vernia, which is like a scene out of a country song. All you can see on the road are trucks, and everyone wears Wranglers and a can of dip in their back pocket and cowboy boots and hats- not just on special occasions, but every single day.
- p. 34
- I didn't take any of the social stuff at school that seriously. My main way of dealing with it was this: I was really quiet in school. I sat in the back and watched everyone and didn't say much. But for some reason, the kind of kids who care about being popular in high school are never content to let you do your own thing. As I got older, some kids still gave me a hard time about the way I dressed and the fact that I wasn't obsessed with the rodeo and country music like everyone else was. The one good thing I can say about this time is that it made me get clear on something: Either they were right or I was right. And I knew they weren't right. I knew there was a whole world out there, with all different kinds of music and people, and I knew I was going to get out of this small town someday and join it. And when I did, I was never going to look down on anyone. I was going to let everyone be who they wanted to be and not worry about it. I'd be too busy enjoying my life.
- p. 40
- I could tell from the comments posted on our music videos that they really liked my singing. Not long after that, I was thinking about how some musicians had nicknames for their fans, like how the really big Justin Bieber fans were called Beliebers and Katy Perry fans were called KatyCats. And then it came to me. If I ever had a lot of fans, they would be Mahomies- you know, like my name, Mahone, and my friends, "my homies." I didn't think I'd ever have real fans, but hey, at least there were those girls at the mall. Maybe they could be Mahomies. AC and I joked a lot about having fans. Because who actually thinks something like that is going to happen to them?
- p. 48
- A few days before the talent show, I went to a pep rally at school that also included a talent show. I really wanted to sing in that talent show, too. I knew I could nail it. Then I thought about how some of the kids always teased me, and I wondered if they would make fun of me more. Maybe they would, but then I thought: Who cares? It felt amazing to realize that.
- p. 50
- There were some dark days in school. Some people still made fun of me for my videos. I tried to hold on to the positive feedback, but sometimes it was impossible not to let the negative stuff get to me. Maybe they're right, I thought, when I heard some dudes talking about me. Maybe I am stupid for putting myself on YouTube. But luckily, there was something inside of me that wouldn't let me believe that. People are going to give their opinions about you, I thought. Some people are going to make fun of you, no matter what. So you might as well do whatever you want and enjoy it. So that's what I did.
- p. 53
- I was really starting to think of myself as a singer. People who watched my videos treated me like one. They weren't just telling me they liked my singing. They were also giving me tips about what I should sing and how I should use my voice, you know, trying to help me out. It was cool. I realized something was happening. Maybe I can take this further, I thought. So I really dialed in, knowing if I kept working hard at it, and practiced and trained, that I would keep getting better and better.
- I hit play, the music started, and that's when my nerves got the worst, because it was like, There's no going back now. So I just went for it.
- p. 63-64
- So even though everything wasn't perfect for me in La Vernia, I put all my focus into the things that were going well in my life- my singing, my YouTube channel, my family, AC and my other friends. Luckily, that's the great thing about singing: It makes me forget everything else while I'm doing it.
- p. 66
- Everyone in my family was so amazing and supportive. Granddad and Mema let us move back in with them so Mom wouldn't have to worry about a mortgage payment or rent and our other expenses would be minimal. Their house was nice, but it was a little cramped with all of us there. Mom and I kept our clothes in big plastic bins in our bedrooms because we didn't have a lot of space. I knew what a big deal it was, what my mom and my grandparents were doing for me, and I felt so lucky to have them.
- p. 71
- I decided I wanted to finish high school from my room at my grandparents' house. I didn't care about going to football games. I didn't care about going to prom. I liked singing and wanted to concentrate on it more. I know that getting an education is important, and I felt that being homeschooled would give me more flexibility to concentrate on music. I knew what I wanted to do with my life. Of course, this was a big decision. My mom literally cried about it for weeks because she was so worried about whether or not I had the discipline to do all the work basically on my own, and whether she had the dedication to be my teacher. Finally, she sat me down for another one of our serious conversations. "I've been agonizing over this decision," she said. "I know it's the right thing to do." "It'll be fine, Mom," I said. "It'll be great."
- p. 73
- And then I got into the car to head back to our hotel, and when the driver turned on the engine, there it was: my single "Say Somethin" coming out of the car speakers, being played on the radio, just at that exact moment. It was my first time ever hearing myself on radio, and it was almost overwhelming. This is weird, I thought. This is so cool. But this is just strange. It's like, I was living this new life every day, but it was still hard to believe it was my life.
- p. 117
- It might be a weird thing to say, but I don't really feel like I have a home. There's no place that feels like where I live all the time. Sometimes, I feel like my home is a hotel room. That's pretty much where I am on most days, and I literally live out of a suitcase (actually more like three or four). I live on the road. But for me, right now, that's okay. I think a huge part of feeling at home on the road has to do with the fact that I'm traveling with my team. My extended family. So, wherever I am, it feels like I've got a solid home base, even if I'm moving around on a tour bus. I really think being around good people is the secret to a quality life, especially in this industry. I am so fortunate to have this core group of family and friends to be there with me and support me. I know they keep me grounded.
- p. 177