Austin Mahone & Becky G Mix Work & Play, Plus More Insider Scoop
Mahone & Becky G: On The Record
Austin Mahone looks to be mixing work and play during the recording sessions for his forthcoming album. According to a source, the YouTube star and his long-rumored girlfriend, Becky G, both 18, were spotted working on vocals together at a Los Angeles studio in late February. Billing for the secret collaboration has yet to be determined. Two weeks later, Mahone was spotted in Miami where, in between meetings with management and label executives, he ran into Justin Bieber, in town celebrating his 21st birthday -- a noteworthy encounter, given Mahone's "Baby Bieber" media tag.
Haerts Singer's Heartbreak
Haerts lead singer Nini Fabi knows how to soothe a broken heart because she experienced one at an early age. Fabi, 30, tells Overheard that back in elementary school she wrote a love letter to an unrequited crush using "many differently colored pens" and "stickers," but never mustered the courage to give it to him. Fabi says she recently found the letter when she returned to her native Germany. In February, Taylor Swift recommended the band's "Wings" to a fan on Tumblr who had endured a bad breakup.
New York's Bottom Line Lives On In Classic Recordings
New York's fabled Bottom Line nightclub has been closed for more than 11 years now, but will live on in a series of live releases recorded there that will be put out by co-founder Allan Pepper. The 400-seat venue, which opened in Greenwich Village in 1974 and closed in 2004, played host to a wide array of acts including Neil Young, George Jones, Dolly Parton, The Police, Dire Straits and Barry Manilow. Bruce Springsteen played a number of now legendary showcase concerts at the venue and Lou Reed recorded Live: Take No Prisoners.
On March 24, Pepper will release three of 24 titles that he plans to put out over the next two years under the Bottom Line Archive Series rubric: Kenny Rankin Plays The Beatles & More (1990); The Brecker Brothers (1976); and Willie Nile (1980 & 2000). The series is distributed via BFD/Red. Slated for future release are sets by John Hiatt, Harry Chapin, and Emmylou Harris, among others.
Rita Ora: Mum's The Word
Twenty-four-year-old British musical powerhouse Rita Ora grew up with a mother who was studying to be a psychiatrist, but says she was largely spared being a psychoanalysis guinea pig. Ora, who sang her track "Grateful" in February, tells Overheard, "I was probably less subject to her using all her theories and lessons on me" than if her mother had been working in the field for years. Ora says her mom is her "hero," adding, "She's the strongest person I know," says.
Matt Johnson's Croquet Nightmare
Don't ask Matt Johnson to play croquet. Johnson, one half of the indie-rock dance group, Matt and Kim, which is about to release a new album New Glow, says he almost took out his older brother's eye while playing the game as a kid. The artist tells Overheard that he was 7 or 8 years when, during the game he swung his croquet mallet back hard like a golf club and realized he'd hit something. He looked back to find his brother in bad shape. "His head had exploded", Johnson recalls. "Blood started coming out of everywhere." Johnson says he "just broke down and started balling." Fortunately, his brother was not seriously injured and soon evened the score. During a rather odd game in which the brothers flung vinyl LPs at each other, Johnson's sibling landed a record right between Matt's eyes, slicing open the ridge of his nose. Stitches were required.
Misterwives' Bowler Is A Juggler
If MisterWives' drummer Etienne Bowler ever tires of the pop life, he could always try out for Barnum & Bailey. Bowler tells Overheard that he "learned to juggle kinda obsessively" after receiving juggling balls as a Christmas present. "Next thing I knew it was 3 am, and I was on YouTube trying to figure out how to do a trick called 'the factory'," the musician recalls. For Browler, juggling isn't just a silly hobby, the act helps him manage stress and is weirdly therapeutic stating, "there are so many things in life to juggle and being able to do it right in front of your eyes is comforting".
Additional reporting by Megan Friend.
This story originally appeared in the March 21st issue of Billboard.