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Dustin From Zoey 101 Covers Shawn Mendes’s ‘Mercy’ And Teases New Music

Paul Butcher opens up to MTV News about his new project and what‘s next

It's no secret that Paul Butcher, best-known for playing Dustin Brooks on the Dan Schneider show Zoey 101, is a talented singer with a strong voice. This year, he's covered songs by artists like Justin Bieber and Zayn — and now he's back with Shawn Mendes's “Mercy,” off Mendes's new album, Illuminate. Butcher uploaded the video to his YouTube channel Sunday (October 9) and it's already amassed thousands upon thousands of views.

MTV News reached out to Butcher about his latest cover and when we can expect some original music.

MTV News: What was it about this particular Shawn Mendes song that made you want to cover it?

Paul Butcher: The song actually first grabbed me when I saw Shawn teasing it on his Instagram. I remember clicking on the teaser and hearing the beginning hum and immediately I was drawn in. When he released it, I listened to it once and knew that I had to cover it, as it was just such an interesting and striking song.

Is “Mercy” your favorite song by Mendes?

PB: I would definitely say that “Mercy” is my favorite song of his at the moment. I just like how interesting it is and the feel of it is very unique in comparison to most pop songs. I do however love “Don't Be A Fool” as well. I think the lyrics and melody seem very personal and definitely grab me. Shawn is incredibly talented so all his songs are inspiring to me.

You’ve done so many fun cover videos, such as songs by Justin Bieber and Zayn. What is it about these individual artists that make you want to cover them, versus other musicians?

PB: Each artist I cover inspires me in a certain way. Whether it be the style, track or melody of the song, or the quality of the artist's voice and their nuances, there is always some aspect that hits me and inspires me to take on the song. When listening to these artists and songs, I look for certain aspects that I would want in my original music. I look at it as if these songs are my original music and ask myself if it's a song I would love to do and release as my own. Each song I cover has a quality to it that I will bring to my original music.

When in the world will “Stop Callin’” [which Butcher released a snippet of in January 2015] be released in full?

PB: Hahaha I am currently working on several original songs and just want to finish them all before deciding upon a single. “Stop Callin’” will definitely be released in the future as the producer I worked with on it is incredible and it was one of my first songs I wrote and recorded. I do think it's time to start releasing my own music, as my fans are asking for it, which I am so honored. I'm just taking my time on picking what single I will release first! Will definitely be enjoying a nice cold Blix as soon as I hear that single on the radio soon. ;)

You can follow Butcher on Twitter and Instagram.