Justin Bieber‘s rise to pop superstardom is rarely the case for many up-and-coming pop wannabes. But he defied the odds, and in the years since Scooter Braun discovered him on YouTube, Bieber has become a pop tour de force.
Now there’s a new kid on the block — Conor Maynard — hoping to make a splash all his own. Much like Bieber, he got his start online and makes Justin Timberlake-tinged pop’n’b. He’s hoping to win over music lovers (and Beliebers) with his own brand of catchy, R&B-influenced tracks, including “Vegas Girl,” “Can’t Say No” and “Turn Around.”
To add to the inevitable comparisons, like Bieber, Maynard has a music-industry insider — in this case Ne-Yo — helping get him to the top. But if you ask if he’s worried that people might confuse him with that other young singer, he has a number of reasons why he thinks he’ll be able to forge his own path.
“I don’t want to be the next anyone,” he told MTV News ahead of the release of his U.S. debut, Contrast. “I want to be the first Conor Maynard. I think I want to have a successful career that is unique in its own way.”Conor Maynard talks pop’s British invasion!
But he isn’t dissing the Biebs. “There isn’t really anyone out there where I’m like, ‘Yeah, I want to do it like they’ve done it,’ ” he explained. “I think I kind of want to get to a point of being as successful as possible in a way that’s unique to me.”
With folks like Pharrell, Ne-Yo and Frank Ocean on the 20-year-old’s side, it’s possible he can make the leap across the pond. Contrast was released overseas last summer and hit #1 in his native U.K. and will drop in the U.S. on Tuesday.