Music

Favourite Spaces: Johnny Orlando gives a tour of his bedroom-turned-studio

The 17-year-old pop star is recording music from his family home in Toronto.

The 17-year-old pop star is recording music from his family home in Toronto

Johnny Orlando released his latest single, "See You," on April 15. (Norman Wong)

Johnny Orlando released his latest single, "See You," last week, alongside a music video featuring the Canadian pop sensation moving around his bedroom in his family home in Toronto. The video has already racked up 1.5 million views and shows Orlando sprawled across his bed, playing guitar, texting friends, dancing and repeating the song's main sentiment to the camera: "I just wanna see you." (Something that really hits home these days.)

"The concept for the video is basically just a reflection of my life right now, trying to communicate with people through social media or FaceTime and doing whatever I can to stay connected in such an uncertain time," Orlando said in a statement.

It could be a while longer before the 17-year-old singer sees friends or reconnects with the song's love interest in person, so, until then, Orlando has transformed his bedroom into a "multi-purpose" epicentre for his music production.

For Favourite Spaces, Johnny Orlando gives CBC Music a virtual tour of the space where he's spending most of his time while staying home and socially distancing to help control the spread of COVID-19.

Editor's note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Johnny Orlando shows CBC Music his bedroom-turned-studio. (Johnny Orlando)

Walk us through what we're seeing in here. 

  • MTV EMA for best Canadian act.

  • Home studio setup (microphone, speakers, Macbook, computer monitors).

  • Electric and acoustic guitars.

  • Skylite (projector).

  • Hush weighted blanket on bed.

  • Photos on the walls (props from the "See You" music video set) include family photos, Teenage Fever album cover, tour photos, "Phobias" music video inspiration photos.

  • MIDI keyboards.

How did filming the "See You" music video work?

Building the set for the music video was pretty interesting because we actually did the entire thing over Zoom. The director and creative team at Universal guided us through the whole process of setting up the lights, cameras and props remotely and we directed the entire video this way.

How has this space brought you joy during this time?

It's been great to be able to have this space and continue making music even though all of the studios are closed and everyone is stuck at home. Making music brings a lot of joy to my day and keeps me busy.

Johnny Orlando filmed the video for "See You" in his bedroom in Toronto. (Johnny Orlando)

How much time per day do you spend in here?

Honestly a lot, I would say I spend around 80 per cent of my day in here. My mom isn't too happy about it!

Does anyone else hang out in here?

My dogs like to come up and hang out with me, and my sister comes up and makes music with me, which is really fun.

Any other fun facts about this room?

We recorded the acoustic version of my song "Phobias" in my room, which is actually going to be the first song I've ever recorded myself that is an official release. 

Check out CBC Music on Instagram for Orlando's exclusive video tour of his bedroom-turned-studio.

About the Author

Jess Huddleston

Senior producer, CBC Music

Jess Huddleston is a senior producer at CBC Music.

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