Social Media Star Quit One of His Dreams After Being Bullied by Other Kids

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Mackenzie Sol is a force to be reckoned with. At 16 years old, the UK-born cutie has a background in theater, singing, dancing… Oh, and he dabbles in *magic*, too. #talent That’s why he amassed a large following when he was 4, after he auditioned for Simon Cowell on The X Factor 12 years ago. Watch here:

Today, the talented teen is on his way to taking over the scene, prepping for his upcoming single, the reggae-pop-inspired “Laugh.” So, naturally, he’s on the promo circuit, traveling across the globe on one of his first-ever press rounds. One of his stops: NYC… where we just so happened to catch up with him for brunch. (FYI, the kid loves himself a good hot chocolate.)

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“Thank you so much #empirestatebldg,” he captioned an Instagram of himself atop New York’s famous Empire State Building that same day. “I had such a great time the view was incredible and loved the secret elevator.”

Of course, when we met up, we simply had to discuss the music video for his pending track. “It’s a video of the fans,” he explained, “and what they do is they send in their videos… My mouth is on the phone singing, and they put it on their mouth.” Like so:

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But that’s not the only music under Mackenzie’s belt — he also has a video with Dance MomsKalani Hilliker, titled “My Name.” “I shot a video with Kalani and, basically, I just asked her if she wanted to be in the music video, and she said sure,” he said. “And then we filmed it, and in one night, it had over 100 thousand views… It’s at 4 million views now.” Nearly 4.7 million, as of press time, actually.

However, just because Mack’s flying high now doesn’t mean he’s always had it easy. In fact, due to bullying, he quit one of his passion projects a few years back. “I did enroll in ballet school and then I just got bullied for that, so I quit,” he admitted. “I know I shouldn’t have, but I was a kid… I was about 10 to 11. I got tired of it.”

Fortunately, he’s back in the swing of things — he even caught the attention of Dance Moms‘ infamous choreographer, Abby Lee Miller! “Somehow, I ended up singing for her, and then we went in the back office to meet the girls and her, and then from there, she brought us everywhere.” Now, she’s one of his biggest supporters, referring to him as her “favorite student” on Twitter:

According to MS, Abby’s “not at all” like she is on the show. “At least to me,” he added. “If you get on her nerves, she’s honest.”

Keep an eye out for the music video for Mackenzie Sol’s “Laugh” single, out May 12!
Like Mackenzie, these musical.ly stars branched out into the world of OG music: