2010–14: Career beginnings, Extended Play and The Secret
Mahone performing for K104.7's Not So Silent Night in 2012.
Mahone began his career by posting videos on YouTube in June 2010. More music videos followed, and by January 2011 he began to build an online following. In October 2011, Mahone posted a video covering Justin Bieber's "Mistletoe". On February 14, 2012, Mahone independently released his first single, "11:11", to iTunes. On June 4, 2012, he released his debut EP, Extended Play, in Japan only, with his second single, "Say Somethin", being released worldwide the following day. On August 28, 2012, Mahone announced that he had been officially signed to Chase/Universal Republic Records. In November 2012, Mahone signed a deal to become the new "Teen Ambassador" for Lil Wayne's Trukfit fashion clothing line. He has filmed commercials for McDonald's and Hot Nuts, a Mexican snack. On December 3 2012, Mahone released a song titled "Say You're Just a Friend" featuring rapper Flo Rida as a digital download. He later dropped the piano version of the song and revealed why he released the piano rendition of the song, explaining "I knew my fans love the original version, but I saw a lot of comments saying that they couldn't really hear my voice, so I wanted to reassure them that I can sing the song. I thought it'd be cool to not only have the original version but also the piano version and change it up."
In June 2013, Mahone released a song called "What About Love". The music video won MTV's Artists to Watch at MTV Video Music Awards, and he was chosen as one of the opening acts of Taylor Swift's Red Tour. In December 2013, Mahone was named a "Digital and Brand Strategist" for Aquafina's FlavorSplash, a new line of flavored sparkling water targeted towards teens. On October 17, 2013, he kicked off his first ever headlining tour, MTV's Artist to Watch Tour.On November 13, Mahone released a song "Banga Banga" as a promotional single. "Mmm Yeah" was released as the lead single from The Secret, his second EP, on January 27, 2014. The Secret was later released on May 27, 2014. On July 25, 2014, Mahone kicked off his second headlining tour, Austin Mahone: Live on Tour. During 2014 and 2015, he continued to independently release new music for his fans. Five new songs titled "Say My Name", "Places", "Waiting For This Love", "Someone Like You" and "Torture" were released for free download through his official SoundCloud page.
2015–present: This Is Not The Album and debut studio album
On July 1, 2015, Mahone released "Dirty Work", the lead single from his upcoming debut album. In an interview with Billboard, he stated that the album will be released by the end of 2015. On September 5, 2015, it was announced that he will be joining T.I. and Pia Mia in support of Jason Derulo on his Australian tour for three dates beginning on November 20. Over the course of September and October 2015, Mahone continued to independently release new music, with the tracks "Do It Right", "On Your Way", "Not Far" and "Put It On Me" being released for free download on his Soundcloud page.
In an interview with Teen Vogue on November 13, 2015, Mahone announced that he would be releasing a free mixtape before the end of the year. On December 15, 2015, Mahone revealed the title of the mixtape, This Is Not The Album. He also revealed the cover art and announced that it would be released on December 17, 2015.