The comparison comes quickly just by taking one look at St. Louis Park’s Asa Goldstein.
He’s a teenager (15, to be exact), has floppy hair, and he sings melodic pop songs.
But while it’s easy to say, “He’s just like Justin Bieber,” Goldstein wants to pave his own, unique music career—and he’s off to a good start.
The soon-to-be sophomore at , who plays guitar and piano, recently released his first album, “Restless,” online. The album features four songs by the acoustic singer-songwriter, dealing with issues of love and loss that are fairly mature for Goldstein’s 15 years.
(You can see Asa perform his title track in the video that goes with this article)
“Exes,” Goldstein said of the inspiration for his songs. “I’m not going to go into details, though.”
The young Romeo has picked up a little following at school, as he’s heard that several teachers have played his songs in class, with all the students singing along. Goldstein said he likes the reception he’s received at school, but he is shooting for a bigger stage.
“I really want to get out there and be discovered in a way,” he said.
To that end, Goldstein said he’s working on a new album, often using study hall time to craft new songs.
Though music has become a big part of his life, Goldstein said he’s still focusing on keeping his grades up.
“I’ve been trying to do really well in school,” he said. “(Music and school) have been balancing pretty easily.”
Goldstein’s mom, Liz Goldstein, said her son has a good head on his shoulders.
“Asa right now is really grounded,” she said. “That’s what we hope for both of our kids. We feel very strongly about a good education.”
Liz Goldstein and her husband, Charlie, also encourage Asa’s music. Both have played for many years—Liz the piano and Charlie the guitar—and their love for music rubbed off on Asa at a young age.
“He’s always tapped and found rhythm in things,” Liz Goldstein said.
Asa started piano in second grade, but it was when he picked up guitar a few years ago that he really fell in love. He became enamored with the acoustic fingerstyle made popular in the movie “August Rush.” Not long after, Asa was writing his own songs, too.
“His guitar is something really positive, and writing music is positive,” Liz Goldstein said.
Still, his parents are being careful that Asa doesn’t try to do too much, too fast.
“There’s a phrase I like that’s ‘Slow is fast, and fast is slow,’” Charlie Goldstein said. “I’d encourage Asa to take things at a slow pace, so he doesn’t become a shooting rocket (and burn out).”
Asa is fine with that. Just don’t remind him of the Bieber comparison—again.
“I’ve literally gotten that so many times I could spit,” he said.
Who knows—maybe someday that other floppy haired teen will be sick of hearing that he’s “Canada’s Asa Goldstein?”