Shawn Mendes on success, anxiety and his love for Ronaldo

by: q on cbc

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Shawn Mendes welcome thanks man nice to see you too how's it going so uh why in my blood for the first track on the record I guess when you're listening through a record and usually what happens is there's one when you're listening through them all and you're like oh that's obvious that's a single yeah and for me when I was a sing for the record it was really hard to tell what there was like a few that I that I that I really you know felt strongly about but in my blood had this other extra layer to it which was with the concept which what what it what it was about you know overcoming fears of anxiety and it as a song writer and as a person that was the the most I've ever put into a record and so that was the thing and I was definitely really scared because there's not had nothing like I've done in the past you know right I mean it's a how are you doing with that right now good I mean I think the thing is about anxiety is that it comes in phases and it's different for everybody and in a moment when I was having it I wrote a song about it and I'm great right now but I mean I'm really really proud of that record it's something I struggle with too man you know it's every day and I've had to go see people for it today I deal with anxiety I think that I think there were people like Hughes sing about it when you when you were able to be kind of golden ruler like that it really means a lot to it becomes much more normal for whatever normal means but is that on your mind like yeah this is normalizing a little bit this is making it okay and I think like know if there's and the only way progression is gonna happen is by talking about it and by allowing people to everybody to talk about it you know it just becomes more of a normal thing and hopefully in 10 years from now nobody is really worried about it hopefully ten years from now we have better ways of dealing with it because people talk about it and they don't suppress it you know well yeah I mean there's all kinds of systemic changes that need to happen then too but there's a line here exactly I'm looking through my phone again feeling anxious afraid to be alone again I hate this is that a specific moment you can bring yourself to yeah I mean there's social media and like bringing your people on our phones all the time and realizing they can if you if you even tried to if you put your phone down and then leave your house without your phone yeah it's a crazy experience yeah you find that you're just like sometimes you're just sitting there looking at people being like what would I be doing I'd be on my phone in this moment around I went to see Jack white the other day he has a no phone policy so does that Sharon yeah oh no I - oh you mean I - Oh ed sheeran actually doesn't have a phone yeah it must be lovely hey yeah I think about it sometimes I really do i do I do - I don't think I'd be able to deal with it yeah I just I would suck but edie really really loves it hello speaking of anxiety and speaking of phones that's where I first saw you like I remember having vine because I wanted to see people fall off ladders or whatever it was you know and then there was this kid in Ontario and they were learning how to play good properly yeah you were learning how to play guitar I remember seeing one of you playing for like a school assembly and people were screaming at the school assembly I might want something's going on here yeah and of course the next thing you know your that was at the YMCA here in Toronto yeah what was the moment that you knew things were gonna be different for you is there can you pinpoint a moment where you went this is not a normal thing to happen to a kid yeah when I came down to Toronto and there was this meetup for Viners and I remember going to the square and not really knowing what was gonna happen then it's a difference that you see 300,000 on as a number and you're like oh that's amazing but you see it 300 people in person chasing you that is a different feeling yeah those they're - they're different things you for some reason don't think of them as the same and I think when I came down to Toronto there's the day and I said three I came up from the subway station and there was about 300 people who all turned their heads and started chasing me chasing you live literally they chased me it sounds scary can I say that terrified yeah but at the same time so exciting being like this is not normal you know people are this excited to see me that was a big moment honestly though are there ever moments where you go I'm scared yeah oh you're right again it had to be those right no no I mean when I asked now learned this and he said sometimes we were in the back of the car and people are pummeling on the car when he wasn't when he was with one direction he said yeah it's a little bit scary you don't yeah it's scary I mean sometimes you don't especially when you're out of North America but it's out of love I think it definitely is out of love sure I know I know again just it's a name situation exactly you can be scary and you can and it's thrilling and exciting yeah are there ever moments where you're on Facebook or you're on or you're on Instagram or something like that and you see your friends from pickering your friends who you grew up with and you got in there having a little bit more of a normal life as 19 yeah then you go I'd like to be able to do something like that no yeah that's pretty good no that sounds like gratitude is it I mean it's funny exact I know there's obviously a lot of sacrifices to be made to do to do what I do but then there's millions and millions more things that I get to do that are incredible that I'm sure every 19 year-old would love to do and and that's not hard to forget that for me I live in a beautiful condo in Toronto at 19 years old that's pretty good yeah yeah and my friend my friends come and see it you know it's incredible for them to see and I'm reminded every day how incredible it is that I get to do this for a living so I see what you're asking yeah sometimes want to go be able to go to university parties and stuff or go to Subway in order a sandwich and I you know and you know the answer to that is just do it still do you ever put on the Hat and just I don't even care it's just do it and take the photos and answer the questions and don't be a dick in public and yeah live the life that you are because that that's what it is and just own it and be grateful for what you have and and then ignore what you don't have well now now told me he went on a backpacking trip just you know he went to parts of the world people might not know where my erection is so that mean there's an option to you can only just you know if you want yeah yeah you can try and find yourself he said you know yourself you can pass by the Eiffel Tower you probably can't go up to it'll be yeah I mean yeah anyway listen that's enough on that yeah I want to talk about some of the cool things that you've been doing I mean just through singing a duet with Taylor Swift in front of a stadium full of fans performing the Queen on a nice second birthday carpal karaoke with James Corden having your song be the anthem of Portugal's World Cup team dude I think that's one of the coolest things ever yeah I played soccer for seven years when I was a kid and my idol my hero is Cristiano Ronaldo yeah a good game the other day oh my god best game ever and I'm a serious I could tell so when I know that was just so insane to me you know to be able to sing the anthem for that for the team wait I wish you could come see a show in Portugal it's like no other the the level is so loud of of the amount that people are screaming and singing the words that it almost overtakes the PA of the city the sound system that I'm singing through how does that feel it's great I mean it's intense but it's awesome it's just you know Portugal it goes hard do you feel like you do you feel there's still people who are able to ground you like when you see your old friends from Pickering I didn't able to talk to this place Sean who they played hockey with or something my friends couldn't care less if any of this was going on or if it was you know like you know I think that's the thing because people change man like yeah people change around you people you've known for a million years family members can change too right you know honey everybody that talks thinks about celebrities like they're the only people who are changing yeah imagine all the people around a celebrity as they become famous start to change the way they treat them you know yeah what do a book signing I was sorry I was that chapters one time done Richmond and I heard all this screaming happening and it was Justin Bieber's mom yeah he's doing it I thought she didn't ask for any of this she's just she's just a person you know she's just you know it yeah it's it's a funny thing but I think you know in life you change regardless of you if you're famous or whatever you do for a living you get a new job you move to new place you meet somebody new and you're changing but it's just not put under the limelight you like how it is celebrities so changing is just a very vague term you know well speaking of changing this record is being seen as a change for you is being a seen as it's being written about as a more quote/unquote grown-up record yes I feel that way for you yeah absolutely I think one thing that's funny is as an artist you you make it you make a record it takes you what six months a year maybe longer sometimes yeah so for instance if you if I made that record in October fast forward six months maybe even a year and a half that first song that I wrote in October I was literally a different person and then I wrote that in October six months and a year before that is when I released my album before that so everybody thinks of me from how I was writing music two years ago right so as everybody's saying it's growing up and mature like that for me it's just me you know and I'm already now six months ahead of where this record is so I think it's just like actually a genuine representation of where I am where are you now then if you're if you're six months after even this right I think musically like I'm I'm just learning so much like I've just started really getting into like older rock and not even older rock just like there's things a few years before me that I you know I like older off the killers like ever instance that I didn't understand how incredible they were until like a couple weeks ago yeah you ever see him yeah I got to see him live and okay Lollapalooza dude it was insane yeah I saw the sky blue blue in my mind and it's just like being able to like learn about new music that you had no idea about making my last three albums and now I've discovered this new act - I'm and credit so inspired by is now an entire new reason to make another album are you confident that you can take people with you people who have been fans of you since you were on on vine piano you know they know stitches they know these songs yeah because you can push it a little bit a lot of making music is I've artists a lot of artists to say like to say make music for you first and foremost which I agree with and but for me it's a little different I make music for me first and foremost but I also really love making music for people like I love writing a song and watching somebody else really enjoy it you know so 50% of it is for me do I love it and then 50% of it is will they love it and so yeah as long as I think I'm hopefully staying conscious of that but of that 50% will they love it is there any doubt that they will love it well dad sure go ahead yeah of course you're always you're you know you have no idea if they're gonna love it you just hope and then that that's why I've been so blown away by the reaction of this album because I took a chance and I broke through in a couple of genres and did a little more R&B did a little bit more you know rock and people connected with it they could have easily not connected with it you know well it's kind of you're bad liar record I mean I remember when Selena Gomez put up bad liar all of a sudden people who weren't necessarily tuned into her before yeah a lot of maybe older rock photos I know to indie folks but you know all of a sudden she was cool and she was one of them it feels like people are talking about this record it seems like a new audience for you - it is a lot of like a lot of like older dudes will come up to me on the streets and be like I love Las in Japan and there's a really cool feeling for me you know oh yeah these grizzled old yeah Guns N'Roses guy comes up with a beard and he had he has a real beard and he says he likes the music and that's very cool because now I've you talk about me right now is that what you're doing yeah if you can break you know like age or anything if somebody who's 12 and somebody who's 55 not saying you look 55 Thank You music then it's awesome I'm actually 54 yeah I'm not doing said about it but he feel depression do you feel any pressure to fall it's no fun to follow it up yeah a lot the success you've already had I think I think most artists put and put more pressure on themselves than anybody else what does that look like what does that feel like that pleasure it's just like it's just a non-stop internal battle with yourself the pressure one thing that I was I always think about is pressure creates diamonds and so without that pressure I think the care wouldn't be there to make work that you really think is incredible and then the success wouldn't be there so that pressure ultimately creates the success there's a great old Billy Joe shaver is a great country singer he has a great song called I'm just an old chunk of coal but I'm gonna be a diamond someday there you go there you go speaking of your collaborators on this record a lot of this record was produced by you and Teddy Geiger who while you were recording came out as transgender that must been incredibly powerful to witness what was it like to be there for her at that time Teddy and I have been friends for a long time she wrote stitches which was the reason I'm you know here today and I heard it on the way here yeah yeah it's funny still plays on the radio we had an immediate kinetic connection just immediately and every session after that we we I went on to write treat you better with her and mercy and holding me back and in my blood and eventually was like we have to do the album with her you know when that happened it was such a big moment it's the biggest thing to happen in her life as we were creating the biggest album of my life so there was so much energy and so much emotion that I think it actually fueled the fire of creating the album and it's it's a little difficult for me to explain but I think for for anybody that ever questions transgender if they had one of their best friends decide to go through with it it takes a couple weeks to understood referring to someone as a pronoun that you're not used to I remember the first time I referred to Teddy is a she and she looked at me with this sense of joy that can I mean this of joy that like you really don't see very often she was so happy internally because I nonchalantly just referred to her as a she as I do and in that moment everything was just like wow if everybody could see this there would be no questions anymore so what's the role for people like you and me for sis men like you and me to be allies what do you mean well like what's our role what should we be amplifying other people's voices should we be making room should we be speaking too much ourselves to Hawaii feels right yeah this hasn't be something you think about cuz I'm about this totally there's too much focus on who is saying who is saying this and like the like because he said it it's wrong but if somebody else said it it would have been right I think like genuinely like do what you feel is right and I think authenticity is what people are attracted to and and if you you believe something I think talk about it now don't talk about something you don't know much about and you're talking about because you think you have to don't do that either I also think that's wrong but I think our role is just to do what we think is right as is everybody else's role and it's no more than anyone else's role then you know you know so it's a it's a difficult thing to explain it so it's a funny place kind of everyone's into but yeah it's it's an interesting time to talk to you especially given that question because I know in the past you said you want to create more than just music that goes away after a couple of months now and I don't just mean that it still gets played on Chum yeah you know everything like that but you but you want it to last and you wanted to make a difference yeah what do you mean by that I want to create stuff that breaks the boundaries of time and wrote in oh you mean like it'll be evil timeless create timeless music that affects people today the same as it would affect people 20 to 50 years from now and at the same time I also I'm not I'm not just thinking I want to create music I also want to make a difference in the world and I want to help and I want to you know use my voice and use music to to take steps forward and and how people take step forward well how do you do them I think honesty and I keep coming back to just authenticity and honesty and yeah you don't sir we live in a world of values it right nowyou you it's not just me everybody like this it's so easy to lie and so easy to just follow a group of people and what their views and their opinions are and then you begin to believe that you know and I think step one to making a difference in a better way is there is just honesty nice to meet you I'm a big fan of your music

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