Eighteen-year-old Austin Mahone is in the midst of his biggest tour to date, playing sold-out shows for his “Mahomies” around the country. When Mahone hit Downtown Los Angeles’ Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE, the fifth show of the 30-date run, Billboard caught up with the singer, as well as some family and friends, to talk about what life is like on the road on his new tour.
This show is built around developing the relationship between Mahone and his hardcore fans, who scream at his every move. “My typical day when I wake up in the morning is I get up, usually around 12 or 1, eat breakfast, get ready for the day,” Mahone tells Billboard. ‘Then I come to the venue, usually walk around, then I come to my room, I’ll sign about 300 posters to give to my fans, then I’ll come back and do a meet and greet.”
When we hit the venue around 1:30 PM, a full six hours before the show starts, there are already dozens of adolescent girls surrounding the building or lingering near the backstage.
PHOTOS: Austin Mahone, Behind the Scenes in Los Angeles
Mahone’s three managers — Rocco Valdes, Michael Blumstein and David Abram — saw the possible bond between the singer and his fans right away. “Rocco found Austin two and a half years ago, we all got on the phone with Michele, his mom, and pitched her,” says Blumstein. “We saw some of the fame and the potential of the fans interacting with him and gravitating towards him…Right away it was like this kid has it, what we call the ‘It’ factor.”
There can be a craziness to that connection though, as Mahone has experienced firsthand. “I’ve had girls throw their phones at me on stage, their car keys at me, I’ve had girls hop in my car when I’m leaving a show. I’ve had girls try to kiss me in the meet and greet, it’s pretty funny,” he says smiling.
The flip side of that is the ability make an impact on people’s lives. Maybe the high point of the day comes when the three managers lead our Billboard crew outside to share the golden tickets with fans who’ve been standing outside all day.
“With the golden ticket, after the show they get to come have a nice little pizza party with Austin, talk with him, take pictures. It’s gonna be fun,” Abram tells us. And it is fun, but also moving as the girls literally shake with tears.
“Music definitely creates an insane connection,” Mahone says. “I’ve heard people say I’ve saved their lives and that’s a pretty big thing to say. For me, I’m still trying to understand how I can save lives. I’m making such an impact on people and it makes me feel good and it definitely humbles me a lot.”
Visit austinmahone.com for tour dates and more info