Before he hits the gym, Austin Mahone has some serious sartorial decisions. Like, which of his hundred pair of sneakers he wants to pair with high socks and basketball shorts. He could go with his Air Mags, those $50,000 plus, self-tying sneakers Marty McFly sported in Back to the Future Part II, but he doesn’t want to scuff them. Same goes for his first edition Louis Vuitton all red Yeezys. (Mahone’s favorite piece of clothing, which is not a shoe: a robe gifted to him by Stefano Gabbana in Milan after a fashion show, which is just about as chic a sentence you can utter.) This time, he goes with his Air Jordan Futures.
The San Antonio native first blew up online in 2010, when he was fourteen. Mahone had started posting pop cover songs on his YouTube channel. Two years later, he released his own single and signed with the same record label as Taylor Swift. Then he toured with Swift. And now, at 23, Mahone is living that pop star/fashion ambassador life, which, in his case, apparently means splitting a Miami apartment with several other guys who cook each other eggs in the morning and drink chardonnay before bed. The high life.
We caught up with Mahone in Miami. His is the kind of beach view Miami apartment you walk around in wearing a tank top and holding a basketball—which Mahone does, the entire time, as he shows us his kitchen, gym, and recording studio, where he’s currently at work on his first full album.
Mahone says his dietary staples include Lean Body protein shake, eggs, steak, chicken, rice, protein bars, and fruits … and ketchup. Because he’s a San Antonio boy, Mahone says, ketchup goes on everything: eggs, tamales, even his Thanksgiving turkey.
The only diet he’s done, he says, is adulating—switching from “being a boy and eating Fruit Roll-Ups and candy all the time” to being a grown-up. “When you’re young, you just burn that off super quick. But once I got older I was like: now I’m starting to see the effects of eating good and how it helps you, especially energy.” Because when you’re pushing 23, you really have to re-evaluate life like that.
The pop star said his bodyguard inspired him to drop the Fruit Roll-Ups. “Once I hit eighteen, he was like, “alright, bro, you gotta start tightening up; you’re a man now.’”
Now, aside from a sugar conscious diet, Mahone says he picks shoes and goes to the gym 4-5 times a week, mixing weights and cardio—including basketball (“I’m always just trying to ball with my bros”).
Mahone says exercise gets his “juices flowing,” which helps both in the studio songwriting and with his energy on stage.
Of course, there are also aesthetic perks. And when one wakes up to look at a Miami Beach oceanfront every morning? Well, it’s important to pull off a tank top—basketball in hand or not.