Shawn Mendes started out posting six-second clips on social media app Vine, and now at the age of 18, this Canadian singer-songwriter has two hit albums and filling out major venues all over the world.
Manila was included in those major venues with his world tour which was held on March 18 at the Mall of Asia Arena. The Philippines is the first country in Asia and the only Southeast Asian country that became part of his itinerary this year.
He released his sophomore album Illuminate in September which has sold over 1.7 million copies worldwide. The album so far has produced two popular singles – “Treat You Better” and “Mercy.”
Mendes was also known for his smash hit “Stitches” off his 2015 debut album Handwritten which also had “Life Of The Party,” “Something Big” and “I Know What You Did Last Summer” (featuring Camila Cabello) as singles. He recently won the 2017 Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards as Favorite Male Singer.
Arriving a few days before the concert, he had time to explore when he went swimming at the Balite Falls in Cavite which he posted on social media.
A day before his concert, Mendes met with Southeast Asian and Philippine media, including Music Geek, and discussed his stay in the Philippines, his music, how excited he was about the concert and the all-important question girls want to ask.
“It’s so beautiful here. The food is great and the people are actually very nice. You guys are absolutely amazing. And the fans are loud. When we got to the airport, it sounded like a concert,” Mendes said, adding that he looks forward to coming back to the Philippines for a vacation.
On being 18 and successful, Mendes has been “having more fun than anything” but he has one advice for other singers his age and for those starting young.
“Just chill. Relax a bit. When I was younger, I was a hothead,” Mendes said.
He credits his parents and friends for keeping him grounded despite his success. He also admitted that he still seeks their advice.
“Like me, they have to learn everything as fast as I did. They have been taking it like pros. If they weren’t calm about everything, I would be freaking out right now. I owe that promise to them. My friends don’t treat me any differently. They don’t react with what’s going on which is really nice,” Mendes said.
Likewise, starting out as a Vine sensation, he has a tip for those who want to make it big via social media.
“I think the biggest mistake you can do is try to copy somebody. Stay original,” Mendes said.
Unlike other celebrities who are guarded, Mendes believes in the importance of interacting with fans.
“When I’m creating music, the fans that have met me and got to spend time with me will understand what I have created much more because they actually do know me as a person, beyond my sound and my looks. It’s important for me to make that connection so they understand the music more,” Mendes said.
Now, how does he deal with the opposite of his fans, i.e., the bashers?
“It’s hard. You get a thousand compliments and one negative thing falls into the ground. You just gotta ignore it. It is impossible to ignore it but you just have to try and focus on the positive,” the singer said.
On a lighter note, Mendes revealed he can write songs just about anywhere. In fact, he was able to write songs during his stay in the country, which hopefully would make it to the next album.
“I’m just very inspired right now more than I was when I wrote the second album. Sometimes I write on planes. I wrote on bathrooms a lot because the reverb sounds nice. In the Philippines, there’s a beautiful balcony overlooking the bay so I wrote a bunch of songs,” Mendes said.
From his music, he finds “Three Empty Words” as the most personal while he recommends “Treat You Better” and “Ruin” for those who haven’t heard of him. He cited the importance of having a story on his songs.
“Whether or not you write your music or you are just a singer, you create some beautiful real emotion. It’s amazing what’s going on and being at a young age to record my life in music. Also, when I’m performing, I get that I’m more into the songs,” he elaborated.
The young star has been vocal that he would love to collaborate with Drake, The Weeknd and Rihanna in the future. What the public may rather find surprising is that he loves country music despite his kind of music.
Mendes was excited and pumped up for his concert as he was told Philippines has the “loudest crowds in the world.” He certainly experienced it when the crowd sang with him from the time he opened the show with “Something Big” until closed it with his smash hit “Stitches.”
Does he still get nervous during a performance?
“I still get nervous all the time. It takes into the first song then I get into things and pass away. Usually the louder the crowd, the less I get nervous so I should be fine,” Mendes said.
Saving the ultimate question most girls would want an answer to, Music Geek finally asked Mendes if he is dating someone.
“No, I don’t have a girlfriend,” Mendes said.
Surely many girls would scream from delight.