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Teen Music Sensation Explodes On Social Media

A New Justin Bieber?

Aspiring musicians typically spend years writing, performing and honing their craft before they receive any recognition for their hard work. However, one talented teen from Stillwater, U.S has managed to bypass the gruelling build up and has become an online star in just a few months.

 twincities.com

16 year old Jonah Marais started performing covers of some of his favourite songs and posting them on the live streaming site younow.com in the summer of 2013, the hobby serving as a distraction from his mother’s recent cancer diagnosis. In the beginning he had an average of 20 or so viewers each time, but that began to grow quickly due to clever use of social media. At his peak in the summer, Jonah was attracting an audience of 56,000 people a night, and has amassed a following of over 100,000 fans.

Remarkable for a new artist with no original music and no record label.

As you can probably imagine, the vast majority of this audience is teenage girls aged 13 – 16, and Jonah seems to be enjoying all the attention.

“What 16-year-old guy wouldn’t like that?” Marais commented.

His mum and the rest of his family were largely unaware of his musical endeavours until his viewer base exploded.

“I knew he was doing something with music up in his room, but I wasn’t really aware of what, I was dealing with the cancer treatments and caring for my youngest child. One night at the dinner table Jonah casually mentioned that 56,000 people watched him play online.”

From that point on, they definitely took notice.

Jonah’s first live performance came in August at DigiFest Minnesota, performing on the Minnesota State Fair Grandstand Stage to a crowd of 5,000 screaming girls. Not bad for a debut gig. He got his chance to headline his first show 3 months later at the Amsterdam Bar and Hall in downtown St. Paul, where a crowd of teenage girls queued from 6:30am, competing to be the first into the venue to see the rising star. Marais himself was stunned by the event’s success.

“I asked my friend Devin Hayes to do a show with me, and we put in to do a show at the Amsterdam Bar and Hall in St. Paul, I was hoping for maybe 100, maybe 150 people, we sold 400 tickets in one day.”

The 500 capacity venue was packed, with tickets completely selling out. Amsterdam Bar co-owner Jarret Oulman, delighted with the successful night, has expressed a desire to see Marais return for another performance.

“There were screams that were unrivalled from any other show that we’ve had at that venue, the crowd was feeding off his performance and energy and got more and more enthusiastic as the performance went on. He’s got a way of connecting with his crowd, that’s for sure. If he were to (perform again) here, we think that would be great.”

Marais now seems determined not to let this simply be a fleeting moment, and has started working on original music in order to expand his career. He has announced plans to release an EP on iTunes, and launch a live tour next year.

twitter.com/jonahmarais

Comparisons to Justin Bieber are already being made. If they’re accurate, Jonah Marais could be a big name in the world of music in the near future.

Please, don’t let him be another Bieber…


Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. Currently working part time as a content writer, he hopes to one day drop that 'aspiring' prefix. Follow him @SamAtSMF

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Teen Music Sensation Explodes On Social Media Reviewed by Sam Bonson on Monday, January 12, 2015 Rating: 5
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