"I'm not sure if the album is definitely coming out in the fall, but it will be out before the end of the year," Mahone tells Billboard. "After the album drops, I'll definitely be putting a tour together. I'm excited to get back on the road."
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The San Antonio native says that he's been spending the past few months finishing the album, working in Los Angeles with producers and songwriters like Jason Evigan, Rock City and the Monsters and the Strangerz. The latter produced the delightfully dizzy "Dirty Work," which was released last week and finds Mahone operating over thick bass, canned horns and a melodic disco riff; lyrics like "I'm filthy down to the core/Leave all your stress at the door" mark a swift departure from the family-friendly tunes on The Secret.
"It was definitely a little bit difficult to get to this point, just because I wanted to find my sound and grow as an artist," Mahone notes. "I basically was just writing with a bunch of different producers and writers, just trying to find a bunch of songs that will take me to that next level. It was a process, but we've got most of the album done right now."
With The Secret -- which included the Pitbull-assisted single "Mmm Yeah" and debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 chart -- now firmly in the rearview, Mahone says that the 2014 EP was a "good stepping stone" to the sound he landed on for his album. "I thought it would be a good little project to put out," he says of the eight-song effort. "My fans really enjoyed it, and I got a lot of touring out of that EP. There was a lot of exposure, and now it's time to transition."
Mahone is gearing up for a busy few months of promotion, but is thrilled to have "Dirty Work" out as a preview of what's to come. "It feels great," he says. "I want my fans to enjoy it, and hopefully I'll bring some more fans into the mix."