Austin Crute, a 21-year-old NYU student from Atlanta, can reasonably be described as 'Black Justin Bieber' - which has nothing to do with the rising singer-songwriter's sound, and everything to do with a hilarious cable TV guest spot. Last fall, Crute starred as a black pop star named Justin Bieber on Donald Glover's hit FX comedy Atlanta, schooling Paper Boi in a charity basketball game and performing an undeniably catchy (and very fake) single titled "Whatever I Did."
In reality, Crute is writing, producing and recording arresting R&B music built around dribbling beats and an impressive vocal range. After releasing his debut mixtape Play last summer, Crute returns with "Ungodly," a meditation on sexuality and self-discovery launching exclusively on Billboard.
"This song is about conflict and evolution - that inner battle between the familiar and the uncertain," Crute tells Billboard. "Whether it be moral, sexual, intellectual, I know many people relate on a deep level. This is for them."
Written and produced by Crute himself, "Ungodly" previews Deutschland, a new mixtape set to be released on Apr. 28. Conceived after studying abroad in Berlin, Deutschland is Crute's first new project since appearing on Atlanta last September.