Words and photos by Yann Magcamit (@alltheloveyann)
“I don’t have a girlfriend right now.”
That’s all it took for the press conference room in Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila to erupt in cheers and squeals as Shawn Mendes, who was in the country for his headliner show last March 18th at the Mall of Asia Arena, answered the question on his current status in the dating scene. His presence was so lively, and he definitely lit up the room with just his smile. He even showed off his playful side, telling us about his favorite Snapchat filter (“The one where it just shows your mouth and makes your voice really squeaky”), and the most “bad guy” thing he’s ever done in his life (“I have no idea.”).
It’s the 18-year old singer-songwriter’s first time here in the Philippines, which is his only Southeast Asian stop for the Illuminate World Tour. “The food is amazing. The people are amazing, so I’m having a good time. And the fans are loud.” Shawn said with a smile. “We got to the airport, and it sounded like a concert.” He said all these in amazement as he recounted the Mendes Army’s warm welcome during his arrival in Manila on March 15, 2017. That’s just how we show our love, Shawn, that’s just how we show our love.
The crooner from Toronto started his career posting six second clips of himself singing covers of various songs at the age of 15, when the app Vine was at its peak. Since then, Shawn has been busy making songs, winning awards, filling up arenas, and touring the world. “Every single day is different,” he says, “None of my days are the same. A couple of days ago, I was in Toronto, and now I’m in the Philippines.” Now, Shawn is one of the most influential artists under the age of 25, with his songs and albums always skyrocketing to the top of the charts.
Illuminate is his second album, and with over 1.7 million copies of the album sold worldwide, there is no denying that Shawn Mendes is dominating the music industry. “Keep making music that’s good and relative,” is Shawn’s plan for the future, and as for collaborations, he hints, “I’d always love to work with Drake and The Weeknd!”
The heartthrob reveals the key to his success: his connection to his fans. “I think it’s important for me to make that connection with them so that they understand the music much better.” He says. “When I’m creating music, my fans that have met me and got to spend time with me will understand that much more and relate and connect with it that much more because they actually do know me as a person.”
He also shares his advice on artists who are just starting out: “The biggest mistake you can do is to copy someone else.”
His songs are mostly known for their heartfelt lyrics, each having their own narrative and story. “I think Bad Reputation has a very movie-esque type of thing to it, but on the first album, it’s Never Be Alone, which is a very beautiful song and I think that one could turn into a movie too.” He says he loves all of the songs on his sophomore album, but if he has to choose, he’ll go with the one he can relate to the most. “Three Empty Words is very close to my heart,” he reveals. “It’s very personal.”
Now that the singer is rumored to be starting his acting career on a musical movie with the title “Summer of Love”, he was teased by the press when he revealed that his favorite superhero is Spider-man–and everyone agreed that he’d be fit to play the role. Shawn’s reaction? “I’m in!”
Are you a fan of Shawn Mendes, too? Tell us what you think about this interview!