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Step aside Justin Bieber; there’s a new teen pop sensation waiting to take your crown. And no, we’re not talking about Shawn Mendes. Or Conor Maynard. Or… actually, you get the idea.
No, the newest contender is Desmond John, the 16-year-old protege of Kuk Harrell. Harrell has worked with some of the biggest names in music, from Rihanna (since 2010’s Loud), to Justin Bieber himself, so he knows what a good vocalist sounds like. Hell, Harrell composed Beyoncé’s ‘Single Ladies (Put A Ring on It)’, so it’s safe to assume he a confident producer.
Desmond John certainly has all the trademarks of a pop sensation. He’s got that cutesy teen look with hard facial features and outlandish hair; his style is on point for current trends; and his voice is silky smooth, with just an edge of…something. Quite what that something is, we can’t fathom. Is it rawness? Is it harshness? Is it emotion? Well, whatever it is, it sets him above the rest of the contenders. If ‘Untradable’ is anything to go by, Desmond John may be around for a while.
The only problem we have? Well, technically ‘untradable’ isn’t even a word – outside of the Urban Dictionary, that is… But we can forgive it. Just.
‘Untradable’ is the perfect blend of pop-ish vocals and dance-ready beats that were produced by Harrell himself. Whilst the lyrical content is nothing new (love love love, yada yada yada), it’s all held together nicely by John’s vocal arrangement. We can’t really blame John either; pretty much every song in the charts these days is dominated by love. But maybe try something new next time? That’s how to truly stand above the rest.
‘Untradable’ is out November 4. Listen to it below: