Being a teen-pop star can’t be easy. That should be a laughable, idiotic statement to most folks given the luxurious life afforded to the newfound heartthrob and label cash cow. The aforementioned statement doesn’t reference the amenities of ‘coming up’ and the lavish life of the teen celebrity, but rather finding a balanced artistic niche. Too many big words – well, here’s the breakdown.
Teen artists are typically aimed at pleasing and audience comprised of their peers (teens) and even an audience who’s younger than their peers (pre-teens). As the teen artist matures, they naturally want to expand their audience and mature into adulthood. Why, because in order to be lucrative, relevant adult artist, assimilation is required. Justin Timberlake definitely couldn’t have kept singing N*Sync styled songs when he became a solo artist aiming himself at a pop/urban crossover audience.
For Austin Mahone, 18 isn’t necessarily the ‘end all be all’ to transition from teen to young adult/adult fan bases, but in the same token, Mahone is at the right age to begin transitioning to more adult material. That doesn’t mean his music has to ooze with sex or become profane – those two trends have been over exhausted by all means – but it does mean he can move beyond bubblegum and partake of the candy bar… something like that.
Mahone’s latest song, “Say My Name,” marks the latest chapter in the artist’s maturation. After “All I Ever Need” (from The Secret – EP) showcased Mahone’s tremendous promise in contemporary R&B circles, “Say My Name” continues to exploit that strength. “Say My Name” definitely ‘ups the ante’ where ‘romance’ is concerned compared to “All I Need.” That said, Mahone’s latest cut in no ways ‘crosses the line.’ This happy medium seems to be a sound spot for the youthful, but maturing Mahone to be in.
“Say My Name” isn’t the most innovative pop/R&B record put out, but it definitely establishes an artistic lane and springboard for Mahone. There is swagger exhibited here by the artists without feeling artificial or overdone. Arguably, Austin Mahone’s personality as a whole doesn’t overwhelm you, but neither does it underwhelm showcasing a coolness and poise. Yes, to address the elephant in the room, Mahone doesn’t come off arrogant like a certain, trouble contemporary who will remain unnamed.
All in all, it should be interesting to see how Mahone’s career continues to burgeon and that type of artist he establishes himself to be. Right now, he seems to continue to trend in the right direction. Waiting to release his first EP (The Secret) at 18 was definitely a prudent move because it already established him at a higher degree of maturity. “Say My Name”: an omen of good things to come.