Get to know the Pharrell- and Ne-Yo-approved Conor Maynard.
Tell us if this reminds you of someone: teenaged YouTube star with millions of views, major R&B singers as mentors and awesome hair. Hmm... Justin, is that you? U.K. singer Conor Maynard may hear the British Bieber thing a lot, but the breakthrough artist definitely deserves a spotlight of his own.
The rising star made his mark with killer covers of Usher, Ne-Yo and Rihanna, with his uploads scoring more than 68 million YouTube views -- including 3.8 million for his original track "Vegas Girl," an electro-influenced banger that proved that he's not just a cover act. He's already hooked up with equally crushable U.K. export Rita Ora for the duet "Better Than You," and had Ne-Yo and Pharrell battling to sign him as he prepped for his transatlantic takeover. He wound up on EMI and spent a week in Miami with the Neptunes producer anyway. (Rough life, bro!)
"There's a track featuring Ne-Yo, there's a track featuring Pharrell, there's a track written by Frank Ocean," Maynard says of his star-powered debut album, Contrast, due Sept. 18. Swag on a hundred, thousand, 68 million -- and growing. "I actually have to move quite soon because fans found out where I live," Maynard says. If you're not already a Mayniac, then get ready to convert.
+ Download Conor Maynard's "Drowning," and watch his "Vegas Girl" video, interviews and performances after the jump.
Conor Maynard on his fans
Conor Maynard on friends and family
Conor Maynard on his new album
Conor Maynard on "Vegas Girl"
Conor Maynard's "Vegas Girl" video
Conor Maynard on the 10 Things He's Obsessed With
"Vegas Girl" Live
Photo credit: Brooke Nipar/ EMI