a brand new artist on the scene, 16-year old austn celebrates his debut ep, called “chapter 1: in betweenin,” dropping may 17th. our writer, rebecca mae, got to chat with him about his entry into the music industry and what he plans to do next.
let’s talk first about your incredible story. you were born with your ears closed, but it was not extremely obvious until a teacher pointed it out. music still reached you despite not being able to completely hear; would you say that that is where your love of music began?
i feel like that was something that motivated me from the beginning. music, god knows how, still reached me, and i think it was something that has been inside me from a young age. that experience was a bigger push that added on, because it did help me.
as i understand it, you came to la to begin an acting career.
yes, that is correct.
do you still have an interest in acting? or is music your sole focus?
i feel like as of right now, i will stick with singing. but 100% down the road, i would love to if i had the opportunity.
just out of curiosity, what changed your mind to choose the music path?
actually, i changed my mind fairly recently, about six months ago. but i was always singing growing up, and it was one of the main things i enjoyed doing. i eventually began to gain some attention from that. i had wanted to get into acting and was inspired by different films i loved. i got an agent through seattle talent, which is a talent agency based in seattle, and i got a manager in la. i started making more and more trips to la, and eventually after i began working here, we moved here almost two years ago. after a while, i had been doing acting for a bit at that point, and i started wondering if that was really what i wanted to do. i had a large social media following, and i started gaining traction from posting singing videos. my current managers discovered me through instagram, and they eventually shot me an email that was linked to my profile. my dad goes through my emails, and they had reached out complimenting my talent, and said they were interested in speaking to me about representation. my dad did some research about who they really were, which makes sense, but we said yes. they flew out from philly to la, and we met up over lunch, and we had an immediate connection. from then on, i have been thrown into the studio, making all these tracks, and now i am just rehearsing for shows coming up soon.
you have your debut ep releasing soon, which is great. is that the only project you have been working on lately, or is there an album in the works?
as of now, i am just rehearsing. but the past few months, we have been cranking out songs, whether it was for the ep or just a single. now that the singles are out, we decided to put together an ep. so we have a lot of songs done, but we all just picked out our favorites that we love listening to constantly.
who are your biggest musical inspirations?
i have always looked up to jack johnson, just because of his overall vibe. i like his overall message, and i just enjoy listening to him. billie eilish, of course, because she is killing it right now. i don’t know a single person that doesn’t enjoy her music. i would say she is a pretty big inspiration, just because she is close to my age, which is really cool to look up to. i also really admire halsey’s sound, because it’s very unique, and i can’t think of any other artist that sounds like her.
what can we expect from a live performance by austn?
as of now, we have been focusing on the songs, so i am not quite sure what it will look like. i generally would like it to be fairly laid back, but make it fun and have those billie [eilish] moments of random stuff throughout the show. entertaining, and everyone can be themselves.
are those goals something you wish the listeners to gain from the experience of listening to your ep?
oh yeah! especially with the ep, it is just a lot of real emotion that a lot of people can connect to. i definitely want to keep spreading that message throughout my career that emotions are real, and there is no reason to deny them or be afraid of them, because everybody has them.
being only 16, it is incredible that you moved to la and pursued a career in music. are you still in school and juggling an emerging career?
we moved here when i was 14, because it was the turning point where things were starting to get serious, and i needed to have a place to live, and had to go to school since i am still pretty young. when we moved here. i actually began to go to a school for people in the industry. now that the singing is beginning to take off, i am now homeschooled, just because it works better.
what has been the highest point of your career so far?
i would say probably signing to a record label. not many people can say that they have done that, and a lot of kids my age dream of that, and it is mind-blowing that i have already accomplished that. i have great people around me, and i am very fortunate with what i have.
what is your next biggest goal, musically or not?
i would love to go on a full blown tour, which could happen in the next year or to. i am also looking forward to a vacation after a nice, solid year of going hard, which could be this year or next year. just knowing i worked hard and being able to take time to sit back is something i am looking forward to.
what can we expect from austn in the near future, after the release of your ep?
this summer there is some big music coming. every time i have left the studio recently, i have loved everything i have made. some of those are good summer songs to look forward to.