“I thought that I’ve been hurt before, But no one’s ever left me quite this sore, Your words cut deeper than a knife, Now I need someone to breathe me back to life, Got a feeling that I’m going under, But I know that I’ll make it out alive, If I quit calling you my lover, Move on…”
The first time I heard Stitches playing, I was touched. Later when he released In My Blood I knew this young man had talent. Shawn has a terrific voice and seems to be the best at making pop music with great melodies.
Shawn was born Shawn Peter Raul Mendes on 8 August 1998 in Toronto, Canada, to an English mother and a Portuguese father. Raised in Pickering, he attended Pine Ridge Secondary School from which he graduated in 2016.
Shawn’s musical influences were John Mayer, Ed Sheeran and Justin Timberlake, and he grew up listening to Led Zeppelin, Garth Brooks and country music. He learnt to play guitar at the age of 13 from YouTube tutorial videos. Less than a year later, he began posting cover videos on YouTube. His cover of Justin Bieber’s Boyfriend posted on the now-defunct Vine in 2013 gained 10,000 followers the next day! By the time manager Andrew Gertler discovered Shawn on YouTube in early 2014, the young singer had racked up nearly a million Vine followers and around 400,000 Twitter followers.
With his parents’ support, Shawn teamed up with the then 25-year-old Gertler and A&R rep Ziggy Chareton. By August 2014, Shawn was the third most-followed musician on Vine. Many record labels were vying for him, but he signed to Island Records (Universal Music) in 2014. Shawn displayed quick thinking when he played a cover of the Oasis hit Wonderwall in his first meeting with Island CEO, David Massey, who had signed Oasis to Sony in the 1990’s.
Shawn released his first single Life Of The Party (2014) at the age of just 15 and became the youngest to debut in the Top 25 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. His debut EP peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard 200, selling 48,000 copies in its first week. He then collaborated with The Vamps on their cover single Oh Cecilia (Breaking My Heart). The year ended with Shawn releasing the single Something Big. Life Of The Party was also included on Shawn’s four-track debut, The Shawn Mendes EP. The EP reached No. 5 on the Billboard charts on its way towards sales of over 100,000, setting the stage for his full-length debut Handwritten (2015), which debuted at No. 1 in Canada and the U.S. Stitches became one of Shawn’s biggest hits, reaching the Top 10 in the U.S. and Canada and topping the charts in the U.K. and Germany. His single, Believe, landed on the soundtrack of the Disney musical Descendants. While opening for Taylor Swift on her 1989 World Tour, Shawn and Camila Cabello collaborated on the song I Know What You Did Last Summer, which appeared on the deluxe version of Handwritten Revisited.
In 2016, Shawn made his acting debut on The 100 season 3 premiere. He later announced his second world tour, the Shawn Mendes World Tour. He also began work on his next album, hoping to make it a big ticket album. His first single, Treat You Better, had teenage girls swooning over him all over the planet! Within no time Shawn penned a few more tracks and before you knew it, he was out with the album Illuminate (2016) which debuted at No. 1 in the U.S. and Canada, achieving platinum status. He also released a second single Mercy. It was followed by the digital-only Live At Madison Square Garden.