With a number one album, collaborations with Ne-Yo and Pharrell Williams under his belt and thousands of screaming girls tracking his every move, it’s easy to see why Conor Maynard is one top of the world right now. Laura Donaldson caught up with the 19-year-old superstar ahead of his recent Glasgow show to talk about his next projects, nerves and MJ.
Hi Conor, congratulations on your debut album! Have you started thinking about your next project or is it too soon?
I have actually, I’m kind of recording new music all the time. Before this interview, I was in a room along the corridor with a bunch of producers that worked on my first album. I’m always working on upcoming projects.
You’ve worked with huge stars – do you still get nervous meeting them?
Yeah, at first! I hadn’t even released my first single when I started working with them so for me it was weird not actually running up to them and licking their face! It was nerve-wracking because I couldn’t be a fanboy, I had to be an artist.
Ne-Yo said that you could be this generation’s Marvin Gaye – how does that feel?
The fact that Ne-Yo put me up there is an amazing feeling because I look up to him and he’s comparing me to people he was inspired by. It’s cool that he’s acknowledged that side of my music, a lot of people see me as a young pop star but I actually grew up listening to a lot of R&B artists and I’ve been really influenced by that sound.
Is there anyone else that you would aspire to be like?
The top person would be MJ. To be compared to him… I would love that.
Who’s been your favourite person to work with so far?
I’ve had such amazing experiences with all of them. Pharrell was one of the coolest people I’ve ever met and Ne-Yo was so down to earth and humble. I haven’t been let down once with people I’ve worked with.
Who would you love to work with in the future?
I’m a massive fan of Drake. If I got the chance to work with him that would be crazy! I would love to work with John Mayer as well.
How do you handle the fan attention?
It’s mad but it’s exciting. To see that progress and to see the fans showing up and everything, it’s a cool feeling. All I really care about it getting more and more people to listen to my music so it can never really be a bad thing.
Have you ever played a gig in Scotland before?
I have, for In:Demand Live. The crowd were insane, I’ve heard a lot about Glaswegian fans – you guys have a very strong reputation!
If you could write a song for any other artist, who would it be?
Oh that’s a good question… Probably Justin Timberlake.
He’s not really doing music any more is he?
I’d bring him back. I’d write a song good enough to make him quit any acting role!
Conor Maynard’s debut album Contrast is out now.