Roy Bragg channeled his very best teenage girl for his fawning profile of Austin Mahone in last Wednesday’s San Antonio Express-News. In it, Bragg anointed the fifteen-year-old YouTube sensation as the “Second Coming of Justin Bieber.” Mahone, whose career started eleven months ago when he began posting videos from his bedroom in La Vernia, has amassed more than 39 million views of his in-house performances.
“Mahone embodies the teenage girl dream — with a disarming smile, short brown hair, bangs, braces and ear studs and typically clad in T-shirts and jeans and accessorized with sports hats or hoodies,” Bragg wrote. “Embracing the new business model perfected by superstar Bieber, Mahone has wielded his bedroom Mac like a hammer, using social networks to build his online following. And in doing so, he has created a buzz that previously took performers years to generate.”
Earlier this year, Mahone’s family moved back to San Antonio, where he enrolled in Johnson High School. However, he was instantly noticed by girls in his classes. “Ultimately, some boys became resentful and began hassling him,” Bragg reported. Mahone is now homeschooled, and his mother has quit her job as an investment banker to manage his nascent career
Mahone seems comfortable in his role of Bieber clone: he has the same haircut and even covers the Canadian’s songs (his cover of Mistletoe has more than three million views, while the Bieber original has more than 58 million).
Bragg’s story on the budding pop star was picked up by the Associated Press and is currently bouncing around the Internet.
Bragg followed up his piece with a blog post chock full of Mahone factoids: His fans are called “Mahomies,” he’s received more than a million emails this year, and he only has one original song, an ode to Subway, his favorite restaurant.
Over the weekend, screaming throngs of Houston girls amassed at the Galleria-area club Czar Houston, where Mahone performed his first-ever concert.
Bragg’s interview was Mahone’s first to the press, and he seemed to revel in the publicity on Twitter. “WOAH NO WAY im in the 2 newspapers AGAIN?? this iS AWESOME I LOVE YOU GUYS MORE THAN YOU CAN IMAGINE!!!!!!!!!!!!<3333333,” he tweeted.