When Shawn Mendes kicks off the return of MTV Unplugged tonight (September 8), he’ll do so with a couple nifty tricks up his sleeve. Not only will the 19-year-old break out a very special cover song, but he’ll also give one of his well-worn hits a surprising makeover.
Speaking to MTV News correspondent Gaby Wilson ahead of his big performance, Mendes teased his plan to revamp “Stitches” — and also explained why it’s a challenging song for him to perform.
“Honestly — which is weird and funny and may be a thing for other performers — ‘Stitches’ is the hardest song for me to perform,” Mendes admitted. “Not because it’s super high or super vocally challenging — it’s just because it has this weight behind it. But we’re doing a version tonight where I’m on the piano and it’s just me and my guitar player. It’s really, really beautiful and I think it’ll be really nice."
“When a song is great,” he continued, “you can kind of just take it from the guitar to the piano and it sounds just as good, if not better. It was super easy.”
Mendes’s Unplugged performance marks a sort of return to his roots — after all, he got his start posting acoustic cover songs on Vine. When asked how he’s grown musically since then, Shawn admitted that he’s changed “in every way.”
“When I put that first Vine up, I literally got a guitar, like, the week before. And now, three or four years later, I’m playing guitar so much more,” he continued. “I think as a performer, and as a person and a singer, I’ve become much more myself and just kind of settled into me a lot more than I was back then. That makes a big difference.”
See Shawn Mendes's new version of “Stitches” when MTV Unplugged returns to TV on Friday, September 8 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.