Snapchat might be falling out of favor, but Bazzi’s career is just getting started.
Earlier this year, the pop/R&B newcomer scored a viral hit on the headline-making app with breakthrough single “Mine,” a slinky, love-struck confessional that rocketed to No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and has amassed more than 225,000 streams on Spotify. It’s featured on his debut album, “Cosmic,” released last week.
CAMILA CABELLO, BAZZI When: 7:30 p.m. April 22 Where: Riviera Theatre, 4746 N. Racine Tickets: sold out
In between playing shows and games of “NBA 2K” on his Xbox, the 20-year-old (fullname: Andrew Bazzi) told us 10 things youshould know about him.
1. “Mine” came to him at a pool party
He thought of the melody while hanging out with some friends, and went to the studio two days later with producing duo Rice N Peas to record it. The song’s memorable first line, “You so f—ing precious when you smile,” was something he “just kind of spit out in freestyle,” Bazzi says. “I loved the simplicity of it, while at the same time, it held so much detail and feeling.”
2. He’s a social media sensation
After “Mine’s” release as a single last fall, it took off in January thanks to a viral meme, in which Snapchat users filmedthemselves using the “Be Mine” lens and played the song’s first verse in the background. Bazzi learned of the meme when friends started tweeting it to him, and “thought it was super-funny and cool to see how people interpreted it.”
3. He’s opening for Camila Cabello
Before the North American tour, which launched last week, “she gave me cupcakes and wrote me the sweetest letter.” His favorite song from the “Havana” hit-maker: her current single, “Never Be the Same.” “It’s just so good. It’s a very nostalgic song and feels like a classic.” The duo performs Sunday at the Riviera Theatre in Chicago.
4. Taylor Swift is a fan
The pop star included “Mine” at the top of her “Songs Taylor Loves” playlist on Spotify in February. “That was really cool,” Bazzi says. “Taylor’s an artist I respect a lot — she’s an amazing songwriter and businesswoman.”
5. He covered Bruno Mars
His first live performance was at a sixth-grade talent show, singing Bruno Mars’ “Talking to the Moon.” “Then I got an encore, so I came out and performed ‘I’m Yours’ by Jason Mraz.”
6. He’s obsessed with space
Hence the album title, “Cosmic.” “I think space and music go hand in hand, in the sense that they givea little more mystery and magic to life.” Writing the album, he was inspired by pop/R&B heavyweights Prince and Michael Jackson, who “had mainstream success but never compromised their artistry.”
7. He’s Lebanese-American
Bazzi’shometown of Dearborn, Michigan, has a large Middle Eastern population, so “I’m very heavy into that culture.” He feels that it’s important to embrace his heritage, given President Trump’s stance on immigration: “It’s so incorrect what’s going on [politically], and I think it’s good for Lebanese-Americans to have someone they can look at and let them know that someone’s supporting them.”
8. His talents don’t stopat singing
“I’ve been playing guitar since I was 6, and then drums, bass and piano since I was 10 years old.” He plays instruments on all of “Cosmic’s” 16 tracks.
9. Exes have called him out
When they think a song is about them, “they’ll never be super direct about it, but they’ll make some smart remarks about it, like, ‘Ha ha, I like the song.’ ” Bazzi says that famous girls will frequently slide into his DMs on Twitter and Instagram, but he’d rather meet face to face. Plus, he’s not exactly on the market right now: “There’s someone I’m kind of hanging out with, for sure.”
10. Fan-girls are everywhere
With nearly 500,000 followers across social media platforms, the heartthrob is bound to attract at least a few diehards. He remembers a recent trip to New York when 20 fans waitedoutside the apartment he was staying in. “I don’t know how they found me, but they had a giant bottle of Hennessy for me, which was so cool. My fans know me too well.”