Austin Brown may be only 16, but he’s been through some stuff, romantically, and has a knack for writing about it — on his first single, “In Betweenin,” and with the new “Mean,” whose video is premiering exclusively below.
“I like writing from real experience, mostly — raw, how I’m feeling,” says Brown, who hails from rural central Oregon, where the “Mean” video was filmed. “I’m pretty young. I don’t have too much love experience but, yeah, there’s been some issues….”
“Mean” — which Brown co-wrote with Andrea Landis and Chloe Angelides — offers a general observation and message, however. “It’s about somebody who has all these great qualities, physically, like very beautiful and a great personality all-around,” Brown says. “If they were to realize how perfect they were, they’d probably be mean, like one of the mean popular girls. Or guys. It can relate to anyone, really.”
The youngest of four children, Brown — who overcame ear and hearing issues during early childhood — has been singing “basically my whole life, pretty much since I was tiny” and lists Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Adele and Julia Michaels among his main influences. He began working as a child actor in commercials until his management found song performance videos Brown posted on Instagram, leading him to devote himself to music full-time. “I felt like this is what I really need to do,” he says now. He moved to Los Angeles full-time late last year and has batch of other tracks in motion; He’s working towards a full album but expects to release “at least one or a couple more singles” and play live before that happens.
“This is really what I want to do — all I really want to do,” Brown says. “I miss my home town; It’s a lot more mellow there. But we’re doing good work here (in L.A.). It’s finally all coming together.”