With his guitar by his side, a flannel shirt on his back and an ever-optimistic attitude, 16-year-old Internet and pop sensation Shawn Mendes is just getting started on his road to superstardom.
The Toronto native is gearing up to drop his highly anticipated debut album, Handwritten, on April 14 -- but, in the meantime, we're celebrating him as our MTV Artist To Watch. Here's why you should be looking out for his next listen:
Who He Is
When he was just 15, the Toronto native and Vine star had already begun to prove his potential. He's renowned for his amazing six-second Vine covers, like this:
With his thousands of followers, one day he caught the attention of Island Records, with whom he released his EP and debut single, "Life of the Party."
"Life of the Party" has become a massive and historical hit. In fact, it made Shawn the youngest artist to have a debut single in the Top 25 on the Billboard singles chart.
Shawn's arc of success can only be described as a skyrocket into superstardom. He's opened for Austin Mahone on his Secrets Tour, headlined his own tour, and is currently building a fanbase of almost 3 million on Twitter alone (and counting).
He loves his fans, too.
What You Should Listen To
While you're eagerly awaiting the release of Shawn's debut album, Handwritten, I'd recommend listening to his EP, The Shawn Mendes EP, on repeat -- and memorizing all of the lyrics, obvi. Although you have to listen to the whole thing, I'd recommend listening to "Life of the Party," a piano-assisted emotional piece about throwing caution aside and diving into love.
And to get yourself properly hyped for his album release, I would recommend listening to "Something Big," an upbeat, sing-y-rap-pop-song (I promise that'll make sense when you hear it). It's the sixth song on Handwritten.
Why You Should Listen
Each one of his super-relatable, infectious earworms are pure gold. The range of emotion on his tracks is what's won the hearts of fans across the world. This, coupled with the simplicity of a piano or guitar accompaniment, makes each song feel personal and raw. It makes each song feels like a story Shawn is telling the listener, and that's pretty darn impressive.
Shawn's getting ready to go on tour with none other than TAYLOR FREAKIN' SWIFT, guys (NBD).
He'll be opening for Tay on her 1989 World Tour. He gave us all the deets/talked about all his feelz in a recent interview:
Congrats, Shawn! This is just the start of "something big" for you! Also, never give up your flannel look (he sports plaid in basically every single vid, which we're guessing are currently on repeat in your crib right now).