It has become increasingly clear that the world is harnessing a whole new generation of young, passionate, and motivated talent. And this generation is breaking into the music industry with youth on their side, with bigger and stronger fanbases, and with incredibly prosperous and exciting futures ahead of them. And this is definitely true for Canadian singer-songwriter, viral sensation and all-round nice guy, Johnny Orlando.
With nearly six million Instagram followers, almost four million YouTube subscribers, and nearly one million monthly listeners on Spotify, this teenager is a force to be reckoned with. Juggling schoolwork, touring, and endless studio sessions, he is harnessing a work-ethic that reaches beyond his years. “Right now, I’m in Los Angeles on set waiting to start shooting for a digital series called “Total Eclipse.” I will be here shooting for most of the day, but I’m hoping to be wrapped in time to hang out with some of my friends tonight!”
Despite the backlash and hatred that the internet often receives, we definitely have the internet to thank for Johnny Orlando! First receiving attention on social media by posting covers on his YouTube channel (with the help of his sisters) at the age of eight, he has now gone on to receive a Juno Award nomination, perform with Carly Rae Jepson, AND has recently released his debut EP, the aptly named, Teenage Fever. Covering all the ups and downs of teenage life, his latest EP is a relatable, up-beat, and promising start to a career that we believe will be long-lived, prosperous, and ever-evolving.
“Even though I don’t really do covers for YouTube that often anymore, it’s still really fun and definitely more of a quick and easy thing to do in my spare time. I really love spending time in the studio writing my own stuff and challenging myself creatively. It’s so cool to see a song go from an idea in your head to a fully written and recorded song.”
“I would honestly say I am a completely different artist now than I was a few years ago. Over the last few years, I have really thrown myself into the creative process head first, trying to find my sound and figure out who I want to be as an artist. I still feel like I have a lot more growing to do, but I’m having a really fun time learning from everyone I have been lucky enough to work with.”
“Social media is great because it helps me connect with my fans, but sometimes it can get a little bit overwhelming. When I need to chill and get away from everything, I just turn my phone off and hang out with family and friends. We’re really lucky that it’s that easy to disconnect and connect to people all around the world.”
Now signed with Universal Music Canada, the release of Teenage Fever has enabled Johnny to embark on his first headlining North America tour in support of the EP. “2019 has probably been one of the most exciting years of my life so far. I started out the year releasing my debut EP Teenage Fever, followed by my first headline tour all around the North America and Europe! I finished touring just in time to write my 10th grade exams, and now I’m in LA working on new music for the next project! I think the best moment of 2019 so far was seeing myself on a massive billboard in Toronto when my EP came out, that was crazy. I think my favourite track right now is “Waste My Time.” It was my favourite song to perform on tour, so I’m really still coming down off of that feeling of singing it every night.”
But it is no secret that a career in music gives you the best opportunities to travel and perform all over the world. “I think my favourite city I’ve been to so far is Amsterdam. It’s such a cool city and the fans there are crazy! They sang every single song so loud I could hardly hear myself singing. But also, I think Tokyo would be a really cool place to live. I’ve always wanted to go there; I find the fashion and the culture there really interesting. But honestly, every city on this tour was amazing; the fans really showed up at every show and were so supportive. I think the European fans are a little bit more visibly enthusiastic by nature, probably because North American acts don’t go to Europe as often as they do shows in North America.”
Already making music that has evolved so much over the last few years, we can’t wait to see where Johnny Orlando will take his music next. The sky is the limit! “I’m spending the whole summer in the studio writing new songs and working on my sound, in order to figure out where I want to go as an artist. I really just want to put out music that I’m proud of, and that feels authentic to who I am.”
“I’m really looking forward to this next chapter of creating music, and I think the fans are as well. All I can say is I’m making the best music possible for you guys, so get ready.”
Words Lily Major | Photographer Niklas Haze | Stylist Kay Altamira | Groomer Zoe Moore using MILK MAKEUP & BIOEFFECT | Production Assistant Kallan Hughes | Fashion Assistant Tiffany Law