Future Stars: Ansel Elgort (Island Records)

Taken from this week’s Future Pop mailer. Click here to subscribe.

Ansel Elgort is following in the footsteps of Hailee Steinfeld, hoping to translate his success as an actor into a pop career. He’s best known for his lead role in The Fault in Our Stars, a film based on a book with a cult following. However, it’s no Twilight or Harry Potter, and as such he’s no Robert Pattinson or Daniel Radcliffe, so it’s hard to know how dedicated his fans are. Celebrity status aside, he’s an interesting prospect as a new young male pop star, with a very different sound and persona to Bieber, Mendes and Jonas. Ansel’s first foray into music was as a DJ under the name Ansolo. Now he’s a singer too, signed to Island and releasing vocal pop music under his own name, but it still has an electronic sound. In the video for new single Thief he seems keen to let us know that a) he’s an actor and b) he’s not a sellout. His unusual voice takes a while to get used to (it would better suit rock music than electro-pop), and his over-emoting is equally uneasy viewing. Noting that the video was directed by his brother and stars his girlfriend, I wonder if this is a vanity project, only being allowed because of his famous name, or if Island has a strategy in mind to break a pop star who doesn’t rely on being likeable.


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