Earlier this year, Shawn Mendes’ single “Stitches” knocked Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself” from the top spot on Official Singles Chart, seemingly refueling a months-long “rivalry” between the two Canadian crooners. Though much hoopla was made about Justin kinda-sorta throwing shade at Shawn last fall, they, uh, mended their differences and are now totally cool with each other — something Shawn recently confirmed in his Notion magazine cover story.
“It feels awesome to be up there at Number One no matter who I’m booting off, I can’t believe it!” Shawn told the mag. “I’ve hung with Justin a little bit, he’s a great guy; it’s really good for him… Sometimes things are hard and go wrong but props to him for turning it around and making a comeback, it’s impressive.”
Along with singing Justin’s praises, Shawn also took the opportunity to reflect on his “hero,” Ed Sheeran, saying he admires Ed’s personal approach to songwriting.
“Ed Sheeran takes personal experiences and makes people want to listen and want to know,” Shawn said. “He finds the words to describe things in the best way he can. With ‘The Man,’ at the end, you find yourself feeling so, ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe this happened’ as you’re so engaged with him and what he’s singing about and that is very difficult. It’s easy for artists to write about relatable topics but it’s hard for them to write about themselves and make people love them.”
Writing about real-life experiences is something Shawn himself is still grappling with. He confirmed to Notion that he has “no love life” at the moment, but he often writes about the ups and downs of being in a relationship. So how can we tell that he really means what he sings?
“It will all come with age — at 17, I’ve had experiences, but I’ve not had enough!” he admitted. “I’m sure by the time I’m 25 I’ll be writing about much more experiences of my own.
“As a songwriter, you’re trying to find the strongest emotion, and love is the strongest emotion,” he continued. “A lot of the time it’s just like writing a story, it feels very easy and nice and fun to come up with a love story or a heartbreak story, it feels very natural, y’know? All you wanna do as a songwriter is just be very relatable, so it’s a super relatable album.”
Just add that tidbit to the list of hints Shawn’s given us about his upcoming sophomore album. The dude’s been a major tease lately about his new batch of music… but it sounds like it’ll be well worth the wait.