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”