You may not have heard of him, but 15-year-old Johnny Orlando may just be Canada’s next big music sensation.
The Canadian singer-songwriter just signed a music deal with Universal Music Canada and now he’ll be hitting the road this summer with “Dance Moms” alum and fellow singer, Mackenzie Ziegler.
Orlando just released his first single “What If”, along with the music video exclusively on Apple Music on Wednesday, since being signed, with 13-year-old Ziegler. But to their young fans’ dismay, the duo aren’t dating in real life.
“I think it’s kind of funny. Like if I look at her, they’ll screenshot it. Post it and be like, ‘The way he looks at her’,” Orlando said. “Which is weird, ’cause they kind of ‘ship’ us with anyone we hangout with,” Ziegler added.
Even thought they may just be friends, there’s no denying the pair are social media superstars. Combined, they have over 5.4 million subscribers on YouTube and over 15.4 million followers on Instagram.
“It’s kind of incomprehensible when it’s online. It’s just numbers on a screen,” Orlando expressed. “I don’t even know if it’s real! Someone could have bought my likes. But then when you see people in real life who are like ‘Oh my god I love you so much! Look I’m following you on Instagram, and Snapchat and YouTube and everything else.’”
Orlando first found fame in the industry by posting covers on YouTube and now he’ll be dropping a full-fledged E.P. later this year with an R&B pop sound, which is garnering some comparisons to another famous Canadian, Justin Bieber.
“Somebody that you’re probably thinking of, for example, they wouldn’t have a strong family, like their mom and dad wouldn’t always be on tour with them and they wouldn’t go to photoshoots,” Orlando said. “People would say stuff to them like they would have a bunch of ‘yes men’ around them which does not happen when you have my parents for parents. Cause my dad’s like ‘listen if you wanna get a big head that’s cool with me but this music stuff will be over in a snap of my fingers.'”