| LONDON, April 25
LONDON, April 25 British singer Conor Maynard is
in his teens, has just broken into the UK charts with the catchy
debut "Can't Say No", is a YouTube success story and has his own
brand of screaming, die-hard fans. Just don't call him the next
Comparisons in the media are inevitable. While Canadian teen
sensation Bieber has his millions of "Beliebers" the world over,
Maynard is building up his own army of equally passionate
His boyish good looks, voice and dress sense are also
reminiscent of the North American chart topper, who happened to
be in London this week to promote his latest album.
"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 --
I've just released my first song," Maynard told Reuters in an
interview to discuss Can't Say No.
"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."
Maynard is seen as a rising star in British pop, although he
has a long way to go before matching Bieber's global success and
fame. On micro-blogging site Twitter, for example, he has nearly
200,000 followers to Bieber's 20 million or so.
Born in Brighton, southern England, Maynard first thought
about a career in music when, aged 15, a girl heard him singing
in the street and pestered him to perform in front of their
classmates at school.
"So they came up to me and I sang and they were like 'Oh,
OK, we get it'. And after that I started recording covers
because I got a bit tired of singing to every single person in
my year, every day because they wanted to hear it."
In 2008 he began posting videos of himself performing cover
versions on YouTube, and his profile quickly grew. In January,
he was named MTV's Brand New For 2012 act, garnering 45 percent
of votes in a public poll and beating the likes of Lana Del Rey.
Can't Say No entered the British singles chart at the
weekend at No. 2, behind Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe", and
he has been approached by artists including U.S. singer-producer
Ne-Yo for possible collaborations.
Maynard and his record label Parlophone, part of the EMI
Group being acquired by Universal Music Group, will be hoping he
can follow in the footsteps of other British acts who have
recently made a splash in the key U.S. market.
Last month boy band One Direction became the first UK group
to see their debut album enter at No. 1 on the Billboard chart,
and Maynard has confirmed in a newspaper interview that "America
is definitely part of the plan."
He is currently working on his first album "Contrast", set
for release in July.
(Additional reporting and writing by Mike Collett-White,
editing by Paul Casciato)