An Interview With 15-Year-Old Rising Pop Star, JOHNNY ORLANDO!
Posted On 25 May 2018
Meet Johnny Orlando! This pop singer recently signed to Universal Music Canada. Last week on May 18th, he released his newest original single, “What If” which features Mackenzie Ziegler.
With already 5 million Instagram followers and nearly 3million YouTube subscribers, a Teen Choice and Kid’s Choice Nomination under this belt, this 15 –year-old is a force to be reckoned with!! His last few singles charted on iTunes top 100 pop chart and this upcoming single “What If” will no doubt do the same.
Johnny first expressed his passion for music at the tender age of eight, after posting his first YouTube cover with the help of his older sister. They created the music video as a fun Christmas break activity, and posted it online to share with their friends and family. After a few weeks the video racked up a few thousand views from strangers, so the two decided to continue to post. Over the next few years Johnny’s fan base grew, and exploded into massive growth near the end of 2015.
His dedication and connection to his fans landed him the 18th spot on Zefr Inc’s “Top 100 Influencers” alongside the likes of Justin Bieber (16th) and Casey Neistat (19th). Johnny received his first Teen Choice Nomination in 2016, and grew his fan base to over 10 million across all of his social platforms. Johnny experienced his first domestic tour in 2016 with MAGCON, performing for thousands of fans across the country and kicked off his first headlining tour in 2017 with Mackenzie Ziegler throughout North America and Europe. Since the successful release of his single “Let Go” in June of 2016, Johnny has released two other original singles. In December of 2016 he released “Day and Night” with Dance Moms star Mackenzie Ziegler, and later “Missing You” in January of 2017, all three singles charting on the iTunes top 100 pop charts. Johnny plans to continue developing his passion for music and exploring the possibilities as a social media and pop culture influencer.
Connect With Johnny Orlando Here:
Learn more about Johnny Orlando in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! So where does this interview find you? What’s on your schedule for the rest of your day?
Great to meet you. I’m in LA today. I was at Radio Disney this morning doing an interview about the release of “What If” and about my signing with Universal Music Canada. This afternoon Kenzie (Ziegler) and I are headed to rehearsals to prepare for our upcoming summer tour!
Overall, how do you think 2017 was for you and your career? What is one big goal you have for 2018?
Last year was amazing. I co-headlined a sold out tour that took me and my family all across the US and Europe. I got to meet so many of my supporters and saw so many cool new places. 2018 has already been an amazing year so far. I’m now signed with Universal Music Canada and am super impressed with the great team they have given me to work with. My new single, “What If”, with Kenzie is coming out in a few days, and I’m working on some new music with some of the best producers in the music business.
When you were younger first starting out on YouTube, did you ever think it would transpire into what it has today? Can you recall your earliest musical memory?
My earliest musical memories were probably listening to the Counting Crows on repeat…my parents’ favorite band. We always have music playing in our house so I’ve been exposed to a lot of different types of music growing up. I was only eight when I made my first YouTube video and it was really my older sister’s way of passing the time over Christmas break. I don’t think anyone expected the video to get any views but it did so we kept making videos and the audience has been growing ever since.
How do you think that your hometown has influenced the kind of artist that you are today and the kind of music that you make?
Canada and Toronto especially is home to some amazing artists from Drake, Bieber, The Weeknd, Shawn Mendes, Daniel Caesar and on and on. These are the artists that I listen to, look up to and hope to be like someday. The music that I’m working on right now for my EP is going to be a bit edgier than my older stuff and will have a bit more of a urban-pop vibe. I’m so excited for people to hear it.
Let’s talk about your new single “What If.” What was the inspiration for this track? How does it compare to anything else you have released in the past? What was it like working with Mackenzie Ziegler on it? How did that collaboration happen?
“What If” is a perfect song for me and Kenzie. Its about young teens who are friends but might want to be more than friends but are afraid to say something. I think the song will be relatable to a lot of kids our age who are scared to tell their crush how they feel in case they get rejected or ruin their friendship. Kenzie and I did a song together called “Day and Night” a couple of years ago. Our music producers introduced us and we became friends when we made the song and video. We have been really close friends ever since and have traveled all over the US and Europe together.
Do you remember what it was like after posting your first YouTube cover with your sister? Were you surprised by all the positive reactions online that you got right away from it?
I remember that first video. We recorded it in the bathroom at our house because it had good acoustics and I sang into the microphone on the laptop. We thought the video might get 100 views from friends and my family but it got over 10,000 views in the first month. I was blown away. Most of the comments on the video were really sportive but there was some hate too. That was hard to deal with when I was eight, but I’ve gotten better at ignoring the haters and focusing on the love instead.
How do you think you have grown as an artist over the years? What has remained the same about the way you put music together and write songs?
I think I’ve grown a lot as an artist. When I started out I was making covers of other people’s songs. I still do some covers but I have really enjoyed writing my own songs with my sister and with some great producers and top liners that I’ve met through UMC. The new music that I’m working on is more in line with the kind of music that I listen to. It has more of an urban/pop vibe than my older stuff.
Social media has played a huge role in your career so how do you stay active up to date on it all lately?
Social media has been a great way for me to reach people all over the world. I’m still amazed when I think about the millions of people who follow me on instagram or subscribe to my YouTube channel. Without social media, I wouldn’t have been able to share my music and videos with so many people. I still post regularly and respond to fan comments and questions and will for as long as people are interested in what I’m up to.
Do you have any upcoming live shows you would like to tell our readers about?
The summer is going to be really busy with live shows at a bunch of festivals and some co-headline shows with Kenzie and Bars and Melody. I’m going to be at You Fest in Berlin in June. I’m playing the CBBC festival in Liverpool on August 3, 4 and 5 and I’m doing a 6 show run at the end of August going to Finland, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland.
How you think being a music artist gives you the most joy in life today?
There’s nothing I’d rather be doing than making music. I love the writing process because it lets me share my thoughts and feelings with people that want to hear from me and there’s no better feeling in the world than standing on a stage performing in front of screaming fans. I’m really blessed.
Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? What musicians would you absolutely still love to work with in the future?
It would be a dream come true if I could collab with Justin Bieber or Shawn Mendes. They have really inspired me over the last few years to keep working hard and to pursue music, because they were in the exact same position as me not too long ago. They have both achieved such high levels of success and started out making music on social media just like me, which I think is really cool and motivating.
At the end of the day, what do you hope your fans take away from your music?
I think songs mean different things to different people. That’s the great thing about music! Two people can get something totally different from the same song and they can both be right. I just hope people continue to like and support the music that I put out no matter what it says to them.
Would you like to share anything else with our readers about yourself or your music?
Since I’ve been living my life on social media for the last 6 years I think most of my supporters know me pretty well. I can’t wait to see where this journey takes us together!