Earlier this week, Teen Vogue snagged a ticket to Conor Maynard’s New York City performance for IHeartRadio and even though his album had only come out hours earlier, the audience knew the words to every single song. The YouTube sensation has had a following for years, and while he might not be a household name like follow former YouTuber Justin Bieber, it’s only a matter of time.
After the show, they snuck a few minutes with the singer and quizzed him about dream collaborations, future covers, and what it feels like to have his first New York City show sell out.
In our February issue, Rita Ora called you a jokester. What does she mean by that?
“I like to mess around and have fun. I don’t take things too seriously. There’s a track featuring Rita on my album, and when we recorded it, it was literally one of the funniest days. We just messed around and somehow came out with a song at the end of the day. I never like to focus too hard in terms of sitting and writing, I’d rather just come up with ideas, run with it, and have fun.”
Of all the people you’ve collaborated with, who have you enjoyed working with the most?
“Ne-Yo is a great great guy. I never would have expected to connect with him in the way the I do. He’s just such a cool, down-to-earth guy. Pharrell is also really, really cool. He makes you feel like the biggest dweeb because he’s just, like, so ultra-fresh. It’s like a joke, like how am I supposed to compare to this?”
Who would you like to collaborate with next?
“I want to work with someone who’s a little different than who I work with now, more the singer-songwriter-type. Ed Sheeran is someone I’d really like to work with, and John Mayer as well. I love his music.”
You first became famous by doing covers. What song do you want to cover that you haven’t yet?
“I’d love to do a different kind of cover of ‘Locked Out Of Heaven’ by Bruno Mars. I’m a huge fan of that song. I went through a massive Craig David phase a few weeks ago, especially “Fill Me In.” It’d be great to cover Craig David.”
Who are you biggest influences in music?
“I had so many influences growing up, everyone from Michael Jackson to Stevie Wonder. That’s what’s made my music, what I believe to be, quite different. I listened to a lot of rock as well, like Good Charlotte and Green Day, and R&B, like Usher, Mario, and Ne-Yo. Now I listen to a lot of rap: Drake, Kanye West, Jay-Z Kendrick Lamar, A$AP Rocky. All of those influences have tied into what I do.”
Your album came out this week in the U.S. and your first New York City show is sold-out. How does it feel?
“It’s a crazy feeling. For me, it’s completely insane. I’m really happy with the response.”