Q&A

SINGER

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Contents - In­ter­view by NI­CHOLAS FON­SECA Shawn Men­des Sig­na­ture fra­grance is avail­able ex­clu­sively at Chemist Ware­house.

Shawn Men­des: “I def­i­nitely get sick of my­self.”

It’s im­pos­si­ble to turn on a ra­dio right now and not hear a Shawn Men­des song in a mat­ter of min­utes. At 19, are you sick of your­self yet? [Laughs.] I def­i­nitely get sick of my­self a lot, that’s true. But it’s not a bad thing. Peo­ple tend to for­get that just as fast as it comes, it can all go away. So while I’m here, I’ll be gra­cious and eat it up. Be­cause one day I might be beg­ging for peo­ple to play me on the ra­dio. You’re in Aus­tralia on tour now – and per­form­ing night af­ter night. How do you keep your spir­its up when you aren’t on­stage? Tour­ing is ter­ri­fy­ing and hard. Your voice is un­pre­dictable; you might suck. It used to make me sad. But I re­alised that peo­ple per­form best when they are happy – so I keep it sim­ple: lit­tle par­ties af­ter the shows, see­ing friends in cities we visit, re­lax­ing on show days and re­mem­ber­ing to have fun. How do you deal with the mob of screaming fans who now fol­low you ev­ery­where? To be hon­est, I was 15 when I started do­ing this; it’s nor­mal for me. It’s al­most like liv­ing with a weird toe. Some­body might ask, “Doesn’t it bug you?” And you’re like, “I’ve al­ways had that toe.” Googling “Shawn Men­des trivia” re­veals that you hate lady­bugs and toma­toes. True? I love lady­bugs! That is very un­true. But I’ve never liked toma­toes: they taste hor­ri­ble, they ruin sand­wiches and they seem to be in ev­ery­thing. But that’s a first-world prob­lem. Tell us the strangest “fact” you’ve ever heard or read about your­self. There’s a ru­mour go­ing around that I can speak four lan­guages, when I can speak only one. But if peo­ple are think­ing that I’m quad-lin­gual… what­ever that would be. A poly­glot? I’m not too mad about that one. You re­cently re­leased your first fra­grance. It’s some­thing of a rite of pas­sage for young men to learn how not to douse them­selves in cologne. I was the op­po­site. Cologne would bug my voice or cause trou­ble when I breathed it in, so for a long time I had to run through it quickly ev­ery time I put it on [laughs]. That’s changed, though. Your cologne has a mid­dle note of sweet maple to hon­our your Cana­dian roots. Name a scent you re­jected along the way. I thought about putting in ap­ple cin­na­mon, but I found out that’s clearly meant for can­dles around Christ­mas time, not per­fumes. You are a big fan of Justin Bieber, John Mayer and Ed Sheeran. If you had to choose just one, though, who would be your dream bro­mance? Prob­a­bly Mayer – be­cause he’s the most sen­si­tive and un­der­stand­ing of them all. You came to fame largely due to the now-de­funct app Vine, whose con­cept was six-sec­ond videos. Some­one once re­ferred to yours as “camp­fire cosy”. Have you ever taken a gui­tar and ac­tu­ally strummed it in front of a camp­fire? Hell yeah, all the time. That is where you could show off most – or the most sh*tty song. It didn’t mat­ter what you played. It could be ‘ Won­der­wall’ on re­peat and peo­ple would love it, be­cause they were hear­ing it at a camp­fire. What other tal­ent can you show off in six sec­onds or less? I can prob­a­bly do a good hand­stand for you in that time.

“One day I might be beg­ging for peo­ple to play me on the ra­dio”

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