Austin Mahone, a sixteen-year-old from San Antonio, is riding the wave of viral videos and mass Twitter followings up to the ranks of Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez. Though still learning the basics (“And how do I know if they want an encore?”), Mahone’s ability to charm nearly half a million female fans before even getting a record label is a jaw-dropping feat to music industy veterans. For the June 2012 issue of TEXAS MONTHLY, Katy Vine got to spend some time with Mahone as he, his mom, and music business professionals charted his path to global fame.
How did you discover Austin?
I began seeing his name in a few local newspapers, but more than the articles, the slide shows depicting girls swarming him got me interested.
What drew you most to him as the subject of a story?
The fact that he was ascending into that weird world of pop stardom sold me, and the fact that it was happening so quickly. I’m not a performer and I never had any desire to be hugely famous; to me, it seems like a hard existence with very little privacy. Every word and move is dissected. So I had to wonder why anyone in his right