If you don’t know who Shawn Mendes is you’ve been missing a lot so let me help you catch up with him and his career.
Shawn is a 19-year-old Canadian who started on Youtube and Vine in 2013 meanwhile being one of the main guests of Magcon (a tour whose guests were YouTubers or Viners of every type). After getting noticed by Andrew Gertler, his current manager, he released his first single “Life Of The Party” in June 2014 and, one month later, his debut ep, self-titled. The following year, in April 2015, Shawn released his first album “Handwritten” including “Something Big” and “Stitches” before going on two world tours. Not so long after, he released his second album Illuminate, that he recorded in the middle of nowhere, circled by the woods. However, its singles, “Treat You Better” and “Mercy“, are not the last songs we’ve heard from Mendes: during his first all-arena tour, he also released “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back” in April 2017 which has been on the radio ever since. Throughout the past year, he made it clear he was taking time to finish his third album, while being on the road but also afterward, in Malibu. In an interview on the Elvis Durand Show, Mendes said that he asked himself:
“How do I step past Treat You Better and There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back?”
Turns out he found the answer to that question, as he reappeared on March 16th posting what seemed to be the color theme of his upcoming single or album (SM3 as his fans call it) on his social media before announcing, 3 days later, two dates (22 and 23) and putting up promotion pictures in cities such as New York or London.
He finally ended the teasing, that he admitted being the biggest he ever made, on Tuesday, when he announced that the first single from his third studio album will be titled “In My Blood” and released two days later, at midnight ET.
“This is the most overwhelmed and emotional I’ve been on a release day,” says Mendes
In fact, he also affirms he has changed, musically and as a person, throughout the last year which we can clearly realize when listening to the song, that has a rock vibe. He also shared he was part of the whole process of making the single: writing, producing but also mixing, which makes it, and the album in general, close to his heart. Pretty different from his latest singles, “In My Blood” starts softly but the rhythm gets more and more intense as the song goes on. Moreover, Shawn’s more mature voice is a pleasure to hear and fits the vibe perfectly.
Nevertheless, I believe the most important part of “In My Blood”, and the reason Shawn was so nervous about its release, is the meaning of it, inspired by Kings Of Leon’s Use Somebody. He said himself it was a very personal and vulnerable song: honesty is how he decided he would step past his latest hits.
“Just so you know, I’m fine”
This is what Mendes says he tells everyone before singing the song, and if you listen closely to the lyrics, you’ll understand why. In the first verse, “In My Blood” seems like a cry for help: “Laying on the bathroom floor feeling nothing, I’m overwhelmed and insecure, give me something I could take to ease my mind slowly”. This truly shows how much artists usually hide and that they can, also, feel down and have anxiety:
‘In my blood’ made my eyes open to really just how many people have these thoughts. How celebrities are human & they have struggles, too.
— Nicholas Liddle (@NLiddle16) March 22, 2018
But as you get to the chorus, you understand the true meaning of the song:
“It’s meant to be uplifting”
As Shawn says himself, “In My Blood” is not meant to be a sad song but to show its listeners that even though “sometimes [you] feel like giving up”, “[you] can’t” because “It isn’t in [your] blood”. What’s more, the rhythm of the song is uplifting as well!
But how about the other date, March 23rd? Well, another single was released: “Lost In Japan”.
This new single is very different from “In My Blood”, both lyrically and rhythmically: It has an R&B vibe that Shawn explains by his listening of Justin Timberlake all through the making of his third album and is more about relationships than life in general. In an interview on the Zach Shang Show, he explains this song has a dream world base and is a real challenge for him with, for example, high vocals.
— camila (@Camila_Cabello) March 22, 2018
The public has also loved this new music, already number 1, which we hope calmed Shawn’s worry:
— Jasmine De Haro (@Jasmineedeharo) March 22, 2018
— Christina (@chrissy_bee) March 23, 2018
But what can we expect for his upcoming album?
Well, in this same interview, Mendes explained every song fitted together perfectly while being different from each other. They have 50s rock, Daniel Ceasar, slow R&B or pop vibes and are not just about relationships, which he is really proud of. He also confirms he will release more songs before the arrival of the album around the summer. Furthermore, we can expect, collaborations like a song written with Ed Sheeran.