Austin Paul
Gig Seeker Pro

Austin Paul

Band Pop R&B


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


""Follow Ya Heart""

The song is called ‘‘Follow Ya Heart.” ‘‘Be true to yourself, ’cause you are free, who is to tell what you should be.” It’s fitting that Austin Bisnow is particularly proud of it, he really kind of lives his life that way — unburdened by fear or convention, believing in his own abilities. Bisnow wrote the song in 2003 — just one of over 100 pop songs the 18-year-old Landon School senior has written. Sixteen of them, including ‘‘Follow Ya Heart” will be released on his self-published debut album ‘‘Get Bizzy” later this month or by early June. The album will be carried on-line at,, and at Apple’s iTunes library, and in local Barnes & Noble’s and Borders bookstores. For Bisnow, the artist formerly known as Bizzy Biz and now reborn as Austin Paul (Paul is his middle name), it is the biggest step to date toward his dream of becoming a pop star.

But that’s only dream No. 1, maybe even 1a. With Bisnow, a Washington, D.C. resident, the question is: Is he a singer⁄songwriter who plays football or is he a football player who’s also a singer⁄songwriter? Does it matter? Either way, it’s an unusual combination. Let’s see Usher or Justin Timberlake lay the wood in the Big 12 Conference. But soon, Bisnow (6-foot-1, 210 pounds) will be doing that as a long snapper at the University of Colorado, where he recently signed a letter of intent as a recruited walk-on. He’ll be majoring in music composition, of course.

‘‘Yeah, the coaches at Colorado thought the music thing was cool,” Bisnow said. ‘‘They told me I would definitely be the first football player in the program studying music composition.”

Football and pop music? In the ultra-macho world of male athletics, that’s asking for trouble, right?

‘‘Oh yeah, it creates fodder for his teammates to make fun of him,” said Drew Johnson, Landon’s special teams coach. ‘‘But Austin has thick skin. He doesn’t let his feelings get hurt. It takes a lot of courage to create a hip-hop album and be a football player too. But that’s Austin. He has an implicit belief in himself.”

And, let’s get a couple things straight. Bisnow isn’t just a pretty face who can carry a tune. He’s a serious musician. He plays four instruments — flute, piccolo, piano and drums — and will be taking guitar lessons in the very near future. He reads music, he writes music, he scores music. He participates in the Jazz Band (on the piano⁄keyboard), the Acappella Choir and the Symphonic Band at Landon. A large portion of his spare time is spent practicing or writing. His keyboard is right next to his bed. And he’s serious about becoming a pop star. He takes dance lessons, he has a Web site ( where some of his songs can be heard, he’s performed at local benefits, functions and charity events and he has the album coming out.

Bisnow’s been writing and performing since the age of 13, when he broke his ankle at a summer basketball camp and had to go to a music camp instead. He fell in love right away. Serendipitous, really — music wasn’t in his blood.

‘‘My mom played the cello as a kid, and my dad tries to play the piano. Let’s just say it doesn’t run in the family,” Bisnow said.

He started out rapping mostly, including the cult classic ‘‘Bar Mitzvah Rap”. Nowadays, his tastes are eclectically pop — a fact reflected by the album.

‘‘The broad genre is pop,” he said. ‘‘But the album has a lot of different things on it. It has a couple of raps, it has some ballads, it has techno, it has house. The last song is actually big band blues — that’s the bonus track.”

‘‘The first thing you have to say about Austin is that he is fearless,” said Ronnie Shaw, an adjunct music teacher at Landon and Bisnow’s drum instructor. ‘‘He goes 100-percent through a brick wall when it comes to music — when it comes to anything he loves, really. He’ll try anything. It’s that passion I tell him to always hang on to. It’s going to take him a long way.”

The passion, following his heart, extends to the football field. Bisnow is a good player. He’s not exceptional big or strong or fast. But he makes up for it with work — loving every minute of it. And that’s turned him into a really good long snapper. After all, Colorado doesn’t invite any yokel to be a part of its football program. He was the first player in the history of Landon football to be named the special teams MVP as a long snapper. He was also the team’s starting fullback for two seasons, rushing for 392 yards and four touchdowns last fall for the Interstate Athletic Conference champions.

‘‘He didn’t make a mistake all season,” said Johnson. ‘‘Over time, we kind of took for granted how automatic the long snap was for us. We won games on special teams, doing those little things right. It’s almost like free-throw percentage in basketball. If you’re 11 of 20 from the line and you lose by two — well, you do the math. It’s important. We take great pride in our special teams at Landon, and Austin is the perfect example of that.”

The turning point for Bisnow came late last summer when Johnson asked former Landon player and current Washington Redskins administrative assistant Mike ‘‘Rudy” Rutenberg to give Bisnow some snapping pointers.

‘‘I told Rudy I had a pretty good snapper and asked him to take a few minutes with the kid,” Johnson said. ‘‘Well, a couple hours later, we’re sitting outside the locker room and Rudy comes down the hill dripping with sweat. Austin had given him quite a workout. He says, ‘You told me to talk to the kid for a few minutes. But he wouldn’t let me leave.’ We laughed, because we joke that Austin is an annoyance. He asks so many questions, but that’s how you get better.”

The meeting with Rutenberg had an impact on Bisnow. Rutenberg told him he was really good and could have a career as a snapper.

‘‘It definitely made me look at things differently and made me think about playing in college more seriously,” Bisnow said. ‘‘There’s a myth out there that you have to be 6-6, 300 [pounds] to play football and have a really fast 40 time. But if you want to be a specialist, that’s not the case. ... Kids at my school don’t know about this stuff. Colorado told me they have a guy who is on full scholarship just to hold for kicks. They have two guys on a full ride for snapping. I knew I couldn’t be a fullback at a top-25 school, but I thought maybe I could do this.”

Bisnow will have that chance. He’ll be a member of the Buffaloes and will have a legitimate shot at earning a scholarship after redshirting during the upcoming season.

He chose Colorado (over Virginia and Brown) based on its music program, and in fact considered going to college just for music. He really liked NYU and UC-Santa Barbara, but neither had football programs. And after all, football is in Bisnow’s heart, too. In the end, the choice he made was to follow his two passions at the same time.

‘‘I’m never going to have a chance like this again to do football and music,” said Bisnow. ‘‘It’s pretty cool.”

That’s right. ‘‘Whenever in doubt, follow ya heart. Just follow ya heart.” - The Bethesda Gazette


Still working on that hot first release.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Currently at a loss for words...