Singer, songwriter, social media star – all these words can be used to describe 15 year old Johnny Orlando. Johnny began posting song covers on Youtube at a young age, and quickly became a huge viral success. Now, he’s had several hit songs, including his new song “What If” with Mackenzie Ziegler, and is about to embark on a European tour. YEM spoke with Johnny about his newest single and what it’s like to be in the music industry.
Young Entertainment Mag: How did you get started in music at such a young age?
Johnny Orlando: I originally started posting covers on YouTube when I was 8 years old. My older and sister and I were bored on Christmas break and we thought it would be a fun way to pass the time. We didn’t think anyone would watch them, but slowly they started to gain views so we continued to make them!
YEM: You’ve had a large fan following since you were eight. How do you stay grounded with so much success?
Johnny: My family has been super involved in all aspects from the very beginning which has definitely helped me to stay grounded. There with me at every concert, recording session, etc. so they keep me in line haha!
YEM: Is it hard to be a teenager in the music industry?
Johnny: I definitely think it’s harder to be a young teen in the industry, because not everyone is going to take you seriously or respect you. It has especially been hard for me being young, and also having to legitimize myself as an artist and not just a social influencer.
YEM: How did you and MacKenzie Ziegler get to know each other?
Johnny: We first met through my producer Andrew when we collaborated on our first song “Day and Night.” Mackenzie was also friends with some of my friends in LA so I kind of knew her before, but that was the first time we actually met!
YEM: You and MacKenzie just reunited for the song “What If.” What was it like to work with her again?
Johnny: It was awesome being able to work on another song together, especially since we have both grown so much as artists since we first collaborated. She’s one of my closest friends out in LA, so getting to spend time together while also making music is just super fun.
YEM: Tell us about the song “What If.” What was the recording process like?
Johnny: What If is a basically a song about two friends who are exploring what it might be like to be more than friends. I think it’s a super relatable song for teens and an awesome song to kick off the summer. We recorded the song out in LA in one day, and it was really fun goofing around in the studio with Mackenzie. I always like having friends at the studio because it can get boring sometimes when you’re in there alone for 6 hours straight!
YEM: You recently signed with Universal Music Canada and are staring a European tour! How does it all feel? Are you excited for what’s ahead?
Johnny: The last few weeks have been crazy! I’m so grateful and excited to be working with Universal Music Canada, the team there is so awesome and supportive! I’m also very excited to be heading back to Europe to tour with Bars and Melody, and also play a few festivals which is something I haven’t done much of!