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Shawn Mendes

From singing covers to two hit albums

Singer Shawn Mendes started performing by posting covers on social media. Now he has two hit albums.

Courtesy Google Images

Singer Shawn Mendes started performing by posting covers on social media. Now he has two hit albums.

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Shawn Mendes is a Canadian singer and songwriter who got his start while posting covers on Vine, a video app, in 2013.

Mendes took part in MAGCON, which is a tour where social media stars like Cameron Dallas and Nash Grier performed.

In 2014, Island Records took notice of Mendes and he signed on. Mendes has released two albums and two EPs. His debut album, Handwritten, features the song, “Stitches” which reached number four on the Billboard Hot 100.

Mendes’ sound is associated with pop rock and acoustic music. His fans appreciate that he composes the majority of his music and plays a major part in writing lyrics. He can play multiple instruments, including guitar and piano. Mendes’ songs mostly revolve around love and relationships.

In a December 2016 interview with Flaunt, Mendes spoke about the content of his music.

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

Mendes also said that he is not interested in writing for others. “The second you start trying to write about things that other people want to hear it’s not as honest as it should be.”

Mendes’ sophomore album, Illuminate, was released in September. The album has fifteen tracks, including the singles “Treat You Better” and “Mercy”. “Treat You Better” reached number six on the Billboard Hot 100, while “Mercy” reached number fifteen.

The album’s sound is more developed than Handwritten. Mendes’ music is growing with him as he gets older. (Mendes was 16 when he released his first single, “Life of the Party,” and 18 when Illuminate was released.) The growth can be seen through the serious topics the songs discuss, such as an unhealthy relationship in “Mercy,” as well as the tempo of his songs, which is not as upbeat when compared to his previous music.

Illuminate has videos for “Ruin,” “Mercy,” and “Treat You Better.” The album was well written and Mendes’ vocals anchor the songs, most of which deal with relationships, but they are not cheesy or repetitive. In particular, I really like “Ruin” and “Don’t Be A Fool.” These songs portray Mendes’ talent for singing and the songs have a raw and honest mood to them that I enjoy.

While the songs from his first album are not bad, and are sure to be stuck in everyone’s heads, Illuminate’s songs show that he’s maturing as an artist and songwriter.

Mendes is currently on tour. On July 15, he will be playing the Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona.

South Mountain High School recently held a Teddy Bear Drive where the student who donated the most teddy bears for charity would win two tickets to the Mendes concert. Freshman Ezelia Aros won.

“I’ve never been to a concert before and I thought hey, it’s a good thing. Why not donate the bears to…win the tickets,” she said. “(His music) is real and it’s very relatable. It explains…what he goes through.”

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Shawn Mendes