Ryan Beatty will walk the red carpet at Sunday's Teen Choice Awards in Los Angeles, but the humble 17-year-old singer doesn't expect to walk away with a surfboard trophy, necessarily.
Beatty, who's in the running for choice Web star for the second consecutive year, told CBSNews.com, "I didn't expect to get nominated at all...It's kind of shocking to me. I'm looking forward to the awards...I'm not the type of person to expect to win. To be honest, I'm grateful for it. At the end of the day, I'm already very grateful...I've already feel like I won -- not that awards -- but that I've won, if that makes any sense. I don't need to necessarily win to feel good about it."
The California native is one of those artists who gained hundreds of thousands of fans thanks to his online social media and YouTube presence, hence the Web star nod. He made a video, posted it online and didn't know what would happen.
"Artists nowadays, we're all very lucky to have...social media to help us with our careers...I guess I didn't think about it like that at the beginning...I wasn't really looking for a career...When I first uploaded the video I didn't really expect anything to come of it. But in the first week, it got 10,000 views and I was very very excited about that...It kind of happened out of nowhere really...I uploaded another and it doubled," recalled Beatty, who started his rise in 2011. "It kind of shocked me at first. It's still kind of hard to get used to, but I'm just taking it step by step."
"I've always loved music," Beatty continued. "It's always been more than a hobby. It sounds really weird, but it's been more of a lifestyle...It's almost too fun to see it as a career almost. Don't get me wrong, there are times when there are hard things to do. It's not all fun and games. But there are definitely more positive things about it than negative."
One of those positive things is his upcoming album. With help from a couple of producers out of London, Beatty has been working on material for an album he hopes to release this year. "I'm working with some really incredible people," said Beatty. "I've been able to surround myself with people who really understand what I want to do."
And although Beatty has a pop sound (as he shows off on "Hey L.A."), the new material will have a different sound: "I'm definitely using the people I listened to growing up -- I'm definitely using them as inspiration," said Betty, who cited Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and Electric Light Orchestra as some of his biggest influences. "It has more of an old-school, almost like a singer-songwriter feel to it. I'm very excited to release that...It's definitely a lot of different. But I think people are going to like that."
And Beatty is trying to stay focused on the music he wants to record, saying, "The music that I've always wanted to do I'm finally being able to make...I really want to show people that you can be 17 years old and you don't have to do pop music. And I'm not putting that music down. But that's not necessarily the artist what I want to be. I'm excited to show people who I really am musically."
When he's not working on new music, Beatty is busy on the road. He recently wrapped up a tour opening for "good friend" Cody Simpson, calling the end of their outing "bittersweet." Now it's time to head back home so he can finish one last task for school. He's been able to complete his classes online and will be an official 2013 high school graduate. More music and touring are in his future, but there could also be additional schooling, too, as Beatty says he plans to attend college one day.
Big aspirations for a big Web star.