Maybe he’s been in California too long, or perhaps, as he says, he’s always been this way. But if there’s one thing Bazzi is certainly not lacking nowadays it’s confidence. “My mind has always been like ‘You’re a star! You’re in it! You’re killing it!’” the singer says one recent evening while strolling through Beverly Hills. In fact, ask the 20-year-old ascendant pop star and he’ll tell you it’s his self-confidence that, more than his natural talent or determination or the balls to move on a whim to Los Angeles as a teenager, led him to his current perch.
“I credit that more than anything to my success,” the singer, whose tender come-on “Mine” soundtracked a viral meme, subsequently stormed the Billboard Hot 100 (it sits at No. 12 on the April 14 chart) and offered his swelling fan base a preview for the slinky, R&B-infused pop that comprises his debut album, Cosmic, released on April 12 via Atlantic Records. “If you think you’re something long enough,” the mellowed-out singer contends of his path to success, “eventually you just turn into it.”
Born Andrew Bazzi and raised up in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn, Mich. to Lebanese-American parents, the singer took up guitar at age four and ever since, “I’ve been obsessed with entertaining people,” he says. When he wasn’t “being a fucking idiot in class just to make people laugh,” Bazzi would dress up as Elvis at six years old and perform for his neighbors. “I’ve always craved that attention,” he says. “To be an artist you’ve got to kind of want that. I’m obsessed with being able to dictate energy in a room.”