Austin Mahone & The Appeal of a Fresh Young Face in Pop


In an unprecedented move, I am going to dedicate this post to the fangirling of one freaking young dude who is on his way to pop-stardom, Austin Mahone.

A few hours ago, I realize that I am becoming his fan. NOT GOOD. Not good. Super not good. This is not supposed to be happening.  He is 17 years old and I am 23. No. No. *falls in love* Okay, I’m done. Hahaha. Thus, on a more serious note, I am going to ramble about why I think I am interested in his music and his stage image in general, at the same time commenting on the similar images shared by his peers and artists his age as well.

The kid Austin Mahone. Too kid-like looking for my taste

I think men who have that streak of innocence shown on their faces are very attractive. Not that it adds to their beauty but maybe because it’s rare. But then, that innocence shown on their faces can be traced back to their ages. They’re young, they’re fresh and they generally offer new things for us listeners to enjoy. Nowadays, the radios are pretty much saturated with weird clubby music (which I love) and some other boring pop star stuffs. Truth to be told, radios LOVE recycling songs they deem famous. Once, I heard three radios were playing Monster by Eminem and Rihanna at the same fucking time.

C’mon people, we know the song’s good but if you guys are going to repeat the song a million times, all of Malaysia will get super fucking bored with it!

Moving on…. Thus, when Austin Mahone popped into the Malaysian airwaves through his catchy song, What About Love last year, he gained the attention of listeners. I personally am not a fan of the song. It’s a great song – it’s catchy, it’s dancey and it also sounds very young and naive. Kinda reminds me of the great boyband era songs from the 1990s, but with a more polished production. Palah told me she liked the song, which did not surprised me. Hahaha but then maybe because the song is too lovey dovey for my taste, thus I find it quite… lame and cheesy?

Beanie & snowcaps discarded… Hello grown-up Austin. Now I don’t feel so bad about liking you, kiddo!

Then, a few weeks ago, Austin’s new song, Mmm Yeah (not sure how many Ms the title has) began making rounds in the radio and I was instantly hooked. The song in itself is a club hit! And featuring no-less the club music resident hit-maker, Pitbull. I am not a fan of Pitbull in general but I have to say, he has been involved in some of the best songs in recent years. He may be lacking in his rap skills but that dude has taste in contemporary music. Say what you want about Pitbull but somehow, he knows what we listeners want. Hahahaha. Can’t believe I’m complimenting Pitbull right now. 

Unlike What About Love, Mmm Yeah is not about love. Its lyrical content is mainly about the singer’s attraction to a girl, who keeps ignoring him. He tries to talk to her but she rebuffs him, not convinced by his words. Thus, the only thing he can say as she walks away is… “Mmm yeah” – perhaps as some sort of a praise to the girl who has managed to make him feel that  she ignores him, his desperation to make her notice him increases. The song’s meaning is a bit shallow, of course, but then this is a teen-pop dance track. And then, you have Pitbull’s verse. Which basically adult-ize the entire thing! Hahaha. What the hell am I rambling about?! The beat is good, the melody is good.

What makes it a better song that What About Love? What make Mmm Yeah works for me, aside from the Pitbull magic? (fuck, this is not even a valid question I should be asking. Hahaha. What contribution can this question give to improve humanity? But well… Hahaha. Palah and Fatma are so going to puke at this post. Because I find my new fangirling over this teenager so irrational, I am trying hard to rationalize it. Hahaha)

I think the confidence he displayed in the song is vital. It is the main attraction of the song. The reason I find What About Love is that its content is too melodramatic for a dance track. When I listen to a dance track, I want something I can enjoy listening to. A bit light-hearted, a bit fun, a little flirtatious, a little humorous, and most importantly, the singer must sound unabashedly confident while singing it. I think that’s why Rihanna’s dance songs have all been successful. Rihanna is gifted with that vocal that makes her sound unique and powerful. The first time I listened to Mmm Yeah, I did not recognize that the singer’s voice belonged to Austin. Why? Because his style is different from What About Love. And never in a million years I thought a newbie like Austin could have Pitbull featured in his song. Hahaha.

Then, I began checking out his live performance. And surprisingly, he is a great performer. He dances but he is not confined to his dance moves to really enjoy the stage. I’ve read in interviews that he did not really intend to be a pop star a few years back but somehow, his performances indicate that this is something he should be doing for the rest of his lives.

I do fervently hope he does not pull a Justin Bieber and screw up later in life like most teen pop stars do, though somehow it seems inevitable. But pop stars are human, too. People may think Rihanna screwed up a few times but she still manages to retain her legion of fans mainly because the music she is offering to the listeners are pretty damn good. Notwithstanding your personal lives, your artistic products would be the main pawns in this game of music industry.

You know what? Fuck it. Fuck all my ramblings and rationalizations. He’s cute. He’s young. He is so in my radar for at least two years to come. Hahahaha.

p/s: Ruby, stop sounding so psychotic!

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