CHART sensation Conor Maynard has been dubbed ‘the British Justin Bieber’. But the 19-year-old Brightonian, who has racked up 100 million YouTube hits and reached No2 with debut single Can’t Say No, is quick to play down comparisons between himself and the Canadian teen idol.
“It’s very flattering to be compared to someone who is so massive in the music industry and I’m so early in my career,” says the cherub-faced singer, speaking ahead of his visit to the Capital tomorrow.
“At the same time, in terms of our music, it cuts through that comparison - it’s kind of a different sound, we’re both going for different things.
“Obviously, I’m British as well so it’s kind of got a British influence in it, a British sound in some of the tracks that I’ve done. I think the comparison only goes as far as the fact that we’re both young and came through YouTube. In terms of the music it’s two different things.”
While Bieber has his millions of ‘Beliebers’ the world over, Maynard is building his own army of equally passionate ‘Mayniacs’.
“The fans are amazing,” he says. “Whenever I do a show, by the time it’s over the stage is covered in underwear. So it gets pretty mad sometimes but I love it.”
Maynard’s gig at Liquid Room tomorrow marks his first ever show in the Capital, and the singer, who beat off the likes of Lana Del Rey and Michael Kiwanuka to win MTV’s ‘Brand New For 2012’ award, can’t wait for it.
“I’ve only ever been to Edinburgh once,” he says. “It was on a radio tour and I only had one day in the city.
“It’s going to be good to be back, and hopefully after the gig I’ll get a chance to see some of the sights.
“I love playing live more than anything else, and I’m sure it’s going to be a great gig.”
Maynard, who describes his sound as “very R&B influenced, almost like urban pop”, is set to release debut album Contrast on Monday.
A slick pop record with nods to Justin Timberlake all over it, the album is tipped to storm straight to the top of the charts on its release.
Among the artists he worked with on Contrast was Ne-Yo and Pharrell Williams, who has predicted that Maynard will “change the face of pop music”.
“It was a crazy experience for me making the album,” he says. “It was new to me meeting famous people and I really had to hold it down, otherwise I’d have been right up in their faces, crying ‘I love you so much’.
“To have had the chance to work with such massive names was amazing. It’s one of those things you maybe reach with your second or third album - so I’m really lucky.
“It was a real learning curve watching Pharrell write and produce in the studio,” he adds. “And he’s been so complimentary about me, which means the world coming from an artist I’ve loved and admired for so long.”
Conor Maynard, Liquid Room, Victoria Street, tomorrow, 7pm, £13.50, www.liquidroom.com
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