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Monday, April 23rd
We Interview Conor Maynard
After his rise to fame with the hit single 'Can't Say No' we catch up with Conor to talk about his single and what he has planned whilst on tour, aswell as how he got started in the world of music.
First of all, welcome to Birmingham.
Thank you very much.
So you first got spotted by YouTube; how did you get to be seen from the millions of videos already on the website? Well I suppose I am definitely part of the whole internet phenomenon kind of thing. I first started when I was around 15/16, I’m 19 now so about three years ago. Yeah I was posting covers onto YouTube; I was just doing that because my friends knew I could sing at school and I was posting videos so my friends could watch the covers I was doing, when I first started it was kind of songs that I liked, they weren't exactly big at the time, they were more of my favourite songs. As I got more into it I started doing more current songs, then I did a cover of ushers OMG which went to 100,000 views, this was the first one that kind of took off and the next song was a cover of Ne-yo's Beautiful Monster which hit a million views - that was crazy! Then I realised that I already had a mini fan base there, waiting for me to do more covers. Then Ne-yo himself saw one of the videos and a few days later I was sitting on Skype with Ne-yo, talking to him about music and how he wanted to sign me. That created a massive buzz around school and even other schools were texting each other, nobody could believe it. You also won MTV’s Brand New for 2012 award, beating people like Lana Del Rey, I suppose that was a good feeling. Yeah that was absolutely amazing. For me to even be on that list was amazing. I always watched MTV when I was younger and imagined to be in it and for me to be in it was amazing. It was crazy, especially for me to win by something like 45% of the votes.
As your performing here tonight, what is your favourite venue to perform in so far? I’ve got to say Brighton because it’s my hometown, it was madness and really fun. But I’m not gonna lie, I’ve heard things about Birmingham and I’m definitely looking forward to tonight’s show.
So who inspires you, who got you into music?
Well, ever since I was young, my parents used to listen to people like Michael Jackson & Stevie Wonder, as I grew up my influences stayed in the whole R&B genre, people like: Usher, Mario, Ne-yo & Justin Timberlake, but I also listened to a lot of soft rock as well, people like Good Charlotte, Kings of Leon & Green Day as well. I had really weird influences which kind of ended up into what I do now, my mind always changed as I was growing up. At the moment one of the main people that I listen to today is Drake.
So what’s your favourite song at the moment then? Oohh that’s difficult… I would probably say… Marvin’s Room by Drake, but then again that has been my favourite for a while now. I love this song called ‘I Thought’ by Brandy and I thought wow, that’s a good song.
So for all the other people who are on YouTube at the moment, trying to get spotted, what advice would you give them?
Well it’s definitely a great platform to get started on anyway, so well done already for doing that. What I noticed recently was that there are so many different people doing covers on YouTube, everybody knows that’s a great place to start. You really need to stand out if you’re going to do it. What made me stand out was to take a song and completely switch it up, I’d either change the lyrics, the melody, whatever it needed. If it was a big upbeat song I would strip it down to a piano version, whatever I needed to do to make it fit me. I'd change it so it looked like I wasn’t just doing another person’s song, I took the song and made it my own and then did my version of it. When you have that and you can make your own, that’s the best way to stand out - you have to be respected as your own artist, not just as a cover artist.
Well thanks very much for talking to me today. Good luck with the rest of your tour and with your single ‘Can’t Say No’
Thanks, it was nice talking to you.
You can see Conor's hit single 'Can't Say No' below.