Austin Mahone has got some serious swag. Fresh off the release the first single, "Dirty Work," from his highly anticipated debut studio album, the 19-year-old strode into our green room and immediately gave everybody (including four of our über giddy interns) hugs. *Swoon*. We sat down to chat about his new sound, #BUILTBYGIRLS, Shark Week and juice cleanses. Really.
C: Your new single "Dirty Work" has a funkier vibe than some of your older stuff. Where did you find the inspiration for this particular song?
AM: "I wanted to do something a little more mature this time. I wanted to put something out that shows that I can actually sing."
C: Can we expect more of this vibe from the album?
AM: "Yes...I might be dropping a second single and then the album should be coming out right before Christmas. There's definitely going to be some funkier vibes on the album, but there's also going to be some urban stuff and a few ballads, too. Most of the album is done, I just have to put it all together now."
C: Are you working with anyone in particular that you're really excited about on this album?
AM: "I've worked with a lot of amazing producers. I'm trying to get a few more collaborators, like Chris Brown on one song. I did a song with Becky G, and hopefully I'll get some more people on there."
C: What's your favorite track off of the new album and why?
AM: "Hmm... It's hard to say because I don't know which songs will actually end up on the album. So, I don't want to say one and then have it not end up on [there]! But, the song that I did with Becky G is pretty good, I produced and wrote it myself." (Uhh... #RelationshipGoals)
C: If you could collaborate with any artist, dead or alive, who would it be?
AM: "Drake or Chris Brown."
C: You toured with Fifth Harmony. What's one thing people might not know about them?
AM: "There aren't any crazy secrets about them that you wouldn't know. What you see is how they are! But I did always beat them all in ping pong. I'm the ping pong master."
C: What have been the best and the worst parts of being a teenager in the spotlight and working, rather than going to school?
AM: "Being able to travel to really cool places has been awesome. I never thought I'd be going to Japan, and I'm actually going back there in a week or so, so I'm pretty excited about that. Cutting lines at amusement parks is also great. It's really fun. I get to go around three times back-to-back! But not being able to go to new movies that come out, because there are a lot of people there, which sucks."
C: We're partnered with an initiative called #BUILTBYGIRLS that's all about empowering girls that they can do whatever they want to do and build whatever they want to build. You're super successful at just 19-years-old, what is the one piece of advice you would give a girl your age or younger that's trying to defy the odds and follow her dreams?
AM: "I would say, no matter what, people are going to bring you down. You just have to stay focused and surround yourself with good friends and good people that are going to bring you up. Always work hard and try to become better than you were the day before."
Before we let Austin go, he and our interns played a little game of word association for Snapchat. These were his lol-worthy answers:
Emoji: "Tongue out."
Shark Week: "Best week of my life."
Juice Cleanse: "I don't even know what that is!"
The Cloud: "Fluffy."
#BUILTBYGIRLS: "Great hashtag."
"Dirty Work" is available on iTunes now.