Archive for the ‘Interview’ Category
September 08, 2017

PAPER MAG – Like fellow Canadian Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes launched his career by posting cover song videos online. The 19-year-old singer has come a long way, currently performing on his second world tour and, when his song “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back” recently went number 1, becoming one of five people to have two chart-toppers before the age of 20.

Looking back from your first concert ever to now, how do you feel like you’ve grown during this time?

It’s a world of difference, with 90% of it coming from how confident I am on stage. Confidence is everything when it comes to performing, so the more confident you get, the more exciting you are on stage and the more people are drawn in.When I look back at shows, I think the shows are well- produced, the music sounds amazing, my voice sounds good, but now I look back at a show I did yesterday and there’s an added magic to it. The truth is, I’ve played 500 shows now, and that’s why it’s a great show, not because it’s great production, great lighting, great set list — it’s the pure experience behind it.

How do your goals grow?

For me [my goals grow] whether it’s my music that I’m writing or it’s performing or it’s my personality and the way I’m handling business or anything I become very obsessed with it at any given time. As the tours get bigger, I become a lot more obsessed with making sure that the shows are good enough to be on the stage of an arena. Do you know what I mean?

Yeah. Do you think that comes with growing as an artist or just growing as a person?

I think a little bit of both and a lot of confidence. With a lot more popularity, there’s pressure in a good way to be a lot better and I think that’s what’s going on right now for me. You know, I feel like the more people get to know me and with my name starting to really get out there, I find in a good way pressure to really show up when it comes to my live performances.

Yeah, I completely understand that. If you’re performing at these dream stages, what is the next dream?

It can never end, you know what I mean? The dream is just to go bigger and better, bigger and better, bigger and better and when you think you’re at your biggest and your best, you’re not so that’s kind of the beauty of things — not just music but of anything. There’s no peak and that’s really cool.
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July 06, 2017

i-D – Next month will be Canadian Vine star-turned-seriously massive pop heartthrob Shawn Mendes’ 19th birthday. The big day (make a note, 8 August) might be bang in the middle of his American tour, but he’s booked four days off work to move into the condo he just bought in Toronto. Hopefully his neighbours are braced for the inevitable double house-warming and birthday party situation that any right-minded 19-year-old would throw.

If you’re reading this, it’s pretty possible that you’re one of the 28 million people who have watched the video for his most recent single There’s Nothin’ Holding Me Back. Or maybe you’re one of his 23 million Instagram followers. Given all this, we thought we’d invite Shawn round for a chat, and he turned up with the biggest entourage we’ve had at i-D HQ since Japanese pop star Kyary Pamyu Pamyu popped by three years ago. Thankfully, he ditched them for some one-on-one with us — the label reps, security and management team loitering in reception whilst we sat with the (still fairly, all things considered) down to earth popstar. So let’s get stuck in.

Shawn, what do you do if you’re feeling a bit down, to help you get back to that place where there’s (sorry) nothin’ holding you back?
When I’m home sick or tired because I’ve been on the road for a long time — which is where I am now — I remember how much I believe that people were meant to do certain things. So sometimes, when I feel like I can’t do something, I end up having my best day and making my best work. I’m like, “Come on Shawn, this is what you are meant to do!” Other than that, perspective is the best thing in the world. I’ve just begun telling myself, live day-by-day, and when things get really hard, live hour-by-hour. It completely calms me down.

So mindful. When you were little what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be an actor, like, so so bad. I took acting classes, I auditioned for Disney, and then I realised how nervous I got with remembering lines. Then music kind of fell upon me when I was around 13. I started watching YouTube videos and singing and it became something that I was obsessed with. Next thing I know, I was fully in it.

What would you most like to change about the world?
I think what I’d like to most change about the world is both a good and bad thing. I wish people would care less, but also care more. Do you know what I mean? People care too much about the wrong things. If people were a little more light-hearted and cared about the right things, then it would all be a bit nicer.
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December 05, 2016

FLAUNT MAGAZINE – Shawn Mendes would rather take a drive to the beach than go out to the club. However, he’s a Leo, and he’s not exactly shy. He’s a tender-voiced, albeit outspoken, peach-fuzzed cat of 18 who rocketed to fame after posting to the Vine social media platform short looping videos of himself singing. Three years, and almost half a billion plays later, I’m listening to his new record, Illuminate—every song of which seems to either be about love or the loss of love or heartbreak or how he can get that person back or why he just can’t do it anymore.

“Love is probably the strongest emotion that you can feel.” Mendes tells me, “It’s very natural—and I wouldn’t want to say easy—but natural and comfortable to write about, and there’s so many different forms of it, millions of layers, you could write forever about it.”

An 18 year-old telling me this makes me sweat—I’m quite a stretch older than Mendes and I can’t seem to keep a relationship going for longer than a month—I dread the notion of writing about it forever. “The second you start trying to write about things that other people want to hear,” Mendes advises, “it’s not as honest as it should be”

Mendes, tell me more, dude, I need it… and yes, we are calling each other dude and man, and it feels good. “My family, growing up, all my cousins, all of us, we all spoke about how we were feeling, it wasn’t a hide your emotions type family,” he says sniffling from the Canadian cold (where he is at the moment, at home in the suburbs of Pickering, Ontario, about 20 miles east of Toronto). “If you have good intentions and your heart is in the right place then you’re gonna be okay,” he counsels, “I’m trying to stay as real as I possibly can.”

And what about this new album is Mendes trying to illuminate? His coming of age? His impending adulthood? (Which I foresee being filled with Grammies and houses at the top of Holmby Hills and retreats in Palm Springs—probably more on the level of Gstaad—and lots of champagne and girls and boys and first class tickets and the best seats in the finest restaurants and swimming pools and an entourage of Chows, presuming he likes dogs…)

But how? He’s 18. When I was 18 I was eating lots of bagels with cream cheese, smoking joints with my dad and calling it quits. Compare and despair. Quit it! But for Mr. Mendes, will there be ups and downs? Will the wave of life not always be a sweet, opalescent, purple Hawaiian swell that drags on for a mile, so meditative, so rich?
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September 27, 2016
by Emily • 0 Comments/ Interview

ON AIR WITH RYAN – Since capturing the attention of label heads with six-second Vine covers of other artists’ pop hits in 2013, Shawn Mendes has gone on to release five platinum hits from his debut effort Handwritten, perform at stadiums as both a headliner and opening act for Taylor Swift, and is now on a media blitz to promote his newly-released sophomore album Illuminate.

For his latest set, Mendes, along with a few songwriters from Handwritten and Ed Sheeran’s producer Jake Gosling, worked from an isolated studio in Upstate New York where he cited John Mayer’s Continuum album to create music driven by authentic emotions.

All I knew was, I wanted to create an album that I could feel,” he told On Air with Ryan Seacrest in-studio Tuesday. “Beforehand, I was really into Continuum by John Mayer, and the reason that album was so good to me was because I wasn’t just listening; I was actually feeling. If I could accomplish that with music, then I know I did a good job.”

With disarmingly honest songs like “Mercy,” “Three Empty Words,” “Ruin,” and “Bad Reputation,” Mendes’ album serves a soundtrack for the many stages of love, a motif that is still a taboo for many artists.

As an 18-year-old guy, to go and write an entire album that’s majority about love, people would be scared to do [it], but I think it’s beautiful,” he said of his emotional honesty, which was encouraged by his parents.

Mendes’ career was also heavily influenced by Swift, who he opened for on select dates of her massive 1989 World Tour. During his trek with the global pop superstar, Mendes learned how to captivate an entire arena with just an acoustic guitar, and picked up the mindset to go full-throttle even when you’re at the the pinnacle of your career.

With Taylor, the biggest thing I learned, and I always say this and I love to say it, is that there’s no amount of success that stops you from working hard,” he revealed. “She, at the top of her game — stadiums around the world, No. 1 artist in the world — works harder than everyone and it’s crazy.”

Mendes will now embark on his own tour in support of Illuminate, which he said will be a departure from his previous shows. “I’ve never felt something change so rapidly in my life,” he said. “From doing an entire acoustic set, to having a band all of sudden, to the production being involved.”

He added, “The set has just transformed like crazy. Right now, I start off acoustic and it goes into this beautiful, beautiful band section. It’s just true, real live music…I like to think of it as an experience and less of a show.”

You can purchase Mendes’ Illuminate album on iTunes now.

September 27, 2016
by Emily • 0 Comments/ Interview Videos
September 24, 2016

ROLLING STONE – Shawn Mendes is sitting in his dressing room in New York one recent Saturday afternoon, feeling a little disoriented. Partly, this is because he just saw a guy’s leg get crushed in a gnarly traffic accident. But it’s also because the 18-year-old is about to headline Madison Square Garden for the first time. The show sold out in five minutes, and young girls with wide smiles are lined up around the venue as we talk backstage. “It’s nuts for it to be packed here for me,” says the singer-guitarist, who worries he’s “under-rehearsed” for the gig. “I don’t know what, how or why it’s happening, but I’m gonna do the best I can.”

Mendes’ whole career has been a little disorienting. In three years, he’s gone from hockey-loving teenager in a Pickering, Ontario, bedroom to Vine star to chart-topping sensation. His first LP, 2015’s Handwritten, debuted at Number One, and it’s a good bet Mendes’ new album, Illuminate, will as well. Unlike past teen idols, Mendes has achieved that status not with bad-boy bravado but with small-town charm and catchy acoustic folk-pop tunes.

The singer-songwriter caught up with Rolling Stone to discuss his sophomore album, his experience recording with eight collaborators in an upstate New York cabin called “the Club House” and his dreams of pursuing acting in the future – though he’ll have to tackle an international arena tour first.

The last time we spoke in depth, it was right before you went to the Club House to finish recording the album. You were talking about working on your vocals and musicianship. With the album completed, are you feeling that you’re getting to that point?

I’m feeling the same. I’m feeling better! I feel amazing. We’ve practiced so much. But I’m never going to feel good enough for what’s happening, to be honest with you. It’s so surreal and so crazy. It’s nuts for this to be packed here for me. I don’t know what, how or why it’s happening, but I’m gonna do the best I can because that’s all I’ve been doing. I’m just gonna go out there and have fun and connect with the crowd and do what I always do.

Listening to the album, it does show a lot of growth. How do you think Illuminate compares to your first LP?
It’s such a difference: vocally, lyrically. Just the songs are so much better. I love Handwritten but I really love Illuminate. It’s so much better to me.

What was the experience of recording at the Club House?
There were eight of us there. If you could picture a bunch of grown men at camp, it was literally the most stress-free, do-what-you-will environment. We were sleeping right beside the studio. We’d go for walks at 2 a.m. and wake up and go for jogs at 7 a.m. It was like we left the earth for 10 days and were on some other planet.

You mentioned how you were hoping to work with John Mayer on this album. Did he play any part in the songs?
I didn’t get to work with him, but he listened to a bunch of the songs and gave great pieces of advice through the music and production and lyrics and stuff, especially on songs like “Three Empty Words” and “Ruin” and “Patience.” It was great to have him listening through it all.

I love the series of songs from “Patience” through “Bad Reputation” and “Understand,” and how they show off a lot of the evolution in your songwriting. Can you tell me about those three?
“Patience” was basically about a time with an older girl, but not like much older. She was just a bit older. I don’t like age barriers. I don’t like when people treat you differently when they find out how old you are. It was kind of just my anger towards adults not treating mature kids like they deserve to be treated. Or like choosing to treat someone their age when it’s good for you and not when it’s good for them. “Bad Reputation” was the first song we wrote for the whole album. Here in New York, we started it in a hotel room; six months later we finished it at the Club House. “Understand” was one of the last songs we wrote about life in general. That was one of the most organic, beautiful things we ever created. We were all laying on the floor in the studio with a notepad and the piano on loop.

Read more at the source

September 24, 2016
by Emily • 0 Comments/ Interview Videos
August 25, 2016

Shawn is featured on the upcoming cover of Billboard Magazine. You can check out the magazine cover along with outtakes in our gallery. I’ll add digital scans once the issue is released! Below is video that features and interview and some behind the scenes footage. A snippet of the interview can be read below. Shawn tweeted that some statements weren’t true, so keep that in mind and read as you wish.

BILLBOARD – Barely 10 minutes have passed since Shawn Mendes slipped out of the back of the Saltair Pavilion, a 4,500-capacity venue outside of Salt Lake City, with his ­photographer, assistant and tour ­manager to shoot photos on the exposed bed of the Great Salt Lake, which the sun has sucked dry.

We’re scrambling after Mendes, a 6-foot-2-inch-tall 18-year-old who works out every morning at 9:30 a.m., when the walkie-talkie on his tour manager’s hip crackles.

“They’re coming,” says the voice, which belongs to Mendes’ security guard, Jake, who’s trailing behind the group. Jake is sounding a warning about the girls: Roughly a couple hundred of them have ­congregated at the top of a hill behind the venue to watch Mendes as he crouches low in a pose for his photographer. A few of the more intrepid of these fans have c­lambered down, ducked under a line of yellow caution tape and begun trudging in our direction, their feet sinking into the sand. Jake warns them that they have a choice — approach Mendes now, or be allowed to stay and see him at tonight’s show — and they retreat. These are not Sunset Strip groupies, circa ’87. These girls are here with their moms.

Does Mendes ever tire of this?

“Every day,” he replies.

The scene serves as an all-too-obvious metaphor for the distance Mendes now seeks from his first blush of celebrity, as the object of social-media-enabled tween-girl obsession. When Island Records signed him in May 2014, Mendes’ clean-scrubbed good looks and campfire-cozy ­performances on acoustic guitar already had earned him 200,000 followers (and his own hashtag, #shirtlessshawn) on Vine. Thanks to his 2.7 million followers on the platform, his first single, “Life of the Party,” sold almost 150,000 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen Music, with zero radio promotion. His fans again boosted his debut album, Handwritten, to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in April 2015. “Stitches” racked up 204 ­million streams and hit No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100; “Treat You Better” is No. 14 and ­climbing on the Hot 100. “He has his finger on the pulse of girls’ hearts,” says R&B singer JoJo, who recently covered “Treat You Better.”

Read more at the source

February 17, 2016
by Emily • 0 Comments/ Interview Videos
December 19, 2015
by Emily • 0 Comments/ Interview Videos