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Interview: Conor Maynard


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It must be pretty insane being Conor Maynard right now. The young singer can’t move for adorning female fans trying to grab a piece of his action.

Conor Maynard"God yeah! The screaming! It comes with the package of being a pop star I think, but yeah you do get used to girls, constantly screaming, trying to lick your face, things like that. But no I love it really."

These die-hard “Mayniacs” (see what they did there?) are testament to his colossal rise to stardom.

His fame has come about at an accelerated speed. It all started with posting videos to YouTube with a close friend in 2006.

"YouTube is a massive platform to get yourself noticed," he says. "I mean, it’s why I’m where I am today. The thing about it now is everyone seems to be doing it. A lot of people want this dream and they won’t think twice about snatching it from you either. So I got lucky with my timing and the fact Ne-yo decided to click on my video really.

"YouTube is still a really great way to get noticed though- if you’re original and have that something about you, you will catch the right people’s attention."

His total viewing figure today is a staggering 37,929,771 on his VEVO channel page on Youtube. This number only includes videos starting from his debut single Can't Say No.  

Within a few years, his debut album Contrast has topped the album charts selling 17,000 copies in the first week. His mentors include the RnB star Ne-yo, and his album has been produced by such names as The Invisible Men and Pharrell Williams.

Quizzed about the album’s success Maynard said: “Absolutely amazing! It doesn’t even feel real at the moment. That was my only main aim, to get my album to number one and for it to have done it, so quickly too, is definitely a highlight for me. It’s crazy!"

Maynard really can’t believe his luck. He argues his success is all about the timing and perhaps if he'd ventured into the rather crowded waters of YouTube today, the results might not be the same.

The ‘results’ are pretty special: a number one album, top ten singles and an MTV Breakthrough Award, beating off competition from the likes of Lana Del Ray and Delilah.

"It’s literally been so crazy! But to have received the award makes me feel really honoured.  I have great respect for other artists, I mean, they are huge, so for me to have won means a lot!" 

Conor received 48% of the public vote for the MTV breakthrough award Brand New for 2012 in November with other favourite Lana Del Ray receiving 45%.

Other than his mentors and producers where does he consider his sound to have come from?

"All sorts really. Michael Jackson, Stevie wonder, Chris Brown, Usher and rap stuff too like Jay Z, Kanye West and Drake." 

Conversation moves onto the most obvious comparison that has been made – between Maynard and one Mr Justin Beiber. This is a comparison that he has not enjoyed, so when a recent NME review compared him to Justin Timbalake rather than the pint-sized Canadian pop-munchkin it was a definite compliment.

"Definitely! He’s one of my idols. I grew up listening to his music, and his tunes are smooth." 

Listening too many of the tracks on the album, Justin Timberlake's influence is clear.  From slick production to the funky bass-lines, Contrasts comes across like a younger, fresher Future SexLove Sounds with Maynard's silken vocals instead of Justin Timberlake's soaring falsetto.

This sound has gained increasing popularity with Maynard embarking on his biggest tour to date. Is he excited to be playing to bigger audiences?

"So much! It’s my longest tour I’ve done so far, more dates, better and bigger venues so yeah it’s really, really exciting stuff especially with the album being a success. I can’t wait! It’s what we've all been working towards and it’ll be really good to see my fans reaction to the album live." 

Contrasts, his new single Turn Around and tickets for his tour are available to buy now.

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