By: Casey Elogio
With the success of Canadian musicians Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes and Drake, the music industry has had its sights set on the Great White North for its next superstar. Thanks to a huge online following and a little help from his sister, Johnny Orlando is set to become Canada’s next big pop-music export.
q: You started making videos when you were just 8 years old. At what age did you discover your passion for singing?
a: I always loved music from a young age. My dad would play music around the house constantly, and I was really intrigued by all of the different styles. Before I started on YouTube, I was in the school choir and school musicals. I really fell in love with performing around that time.
q: You have more than 3.6 million subscribers on YouTube. What was it like to see your follower count rise at such a rapid pace and how did that success alter your plans for the future?
a: When I first started making YouTube videos it was really just for fun, I didn’t expect anything to happen from it. I remember being really confused and surprised that people that I didn’t even know from around the world were watching and commenting on my videos, which I thought was really cool. Once the numbers really started to blow up I realized that this could be something big and not just something I did for fun on the weekends. As I continued to make music and videos, I really developed a passion for pursuing it as a career.
q: You’ve posted a bunch of videos of you singing covers on your YouTube channel. To date, what has been your favourite song to cover?
a: I think my favourite cover was Stitches by Shawn Mendes. I think it’s actually my most viewed cover, but it was super fun to make. We basically recreated his actual music video and he actually talked about it in an interview with Jimmy Fallon, which was crazy!
q: Who is your biggest musical influence?
a: I have a ton of different ones that influence certain aspects of my music and performances, but the biggest are probably Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes and Frank Ocean.
q: In early 2018, Universal Music Canada signed you. What was that like?
a: It was probably one of the most surreal moments of my career so far. Getting signed to a major label is kind of the big dream for everyone starting out, so it was crazy to me that it actually happened.
q: Who would be your top three artist to sing a duet with?
a: My top three artists would have to be Drake, The Weekend, and Justin Bieber. I have to keep it Canadian.
q: What’s your favourite thing to do in Toronto?
a: I really like to go downtown because there are so many cool clothing stores and restaurants. Toronto is one of my favourite cities for sure.
q: You recently released your new single “Last Summer.” What was your inspiration behind it?
a: The song was influenced by summer memories, and just being a care free teenager. I wanted to make a song that everyone could relate to and something that just perfectly described a moment in time.
q: You’ve done quite a bit of touring across North America and Europe. What was your favourite city to perform in and why?
a: My favourite city was probably Warsaw, Poland. I played my first arena show ever there and it was absolutely mind blowing. Looking out into a sea of people singing along to your sounds is the coolest feeling ever.
q: You recently performed at WE Day. What was it like to perform in front of your home town?
a: It was awesome to play in my home town. The home town fans are so supportive, and so loud! That was probably my favourite show I’ve played this year.