Shawn Mendes is a tough act to beat. The reigning pop star has fans all over the world moving to his hits. With a voice that can capture anyone’s attention, it’s easy to see why Mendes is a hotshot with a long career ahead of him. Like most artists, Mendes looks up to many musical acts that have come before him. What may be a little surprising is that he manages to find inspiration in even his competition.
Shawn Mendes’ Epic Playlist
The Canadian singer unveiled a playlist that has his favorite tunes on it. The list contained some less-than-surprising songs. Mendes shared that he listens to fan favorites such as: “Grenade” by Bruno Mars, which was released in 2010, “Summertime Sadness” by Lana Del Rey, released in 2012, and “The A Team” by Ed Sheeran, released in 2011. On his list were also a few songs of his that were on his Handwritten album, like “This Is What It Takes”. Shawn Mendes also named a fellow Canadian artist that he deeply admires: Justin Bieber.
“I would be lying if I didn’t say Justin Bieber. Everything off the My World album was my favorite song,” the Mendes replied after being asked who was his favorite Canadian singer.
His musical inspirations come from a few genres
When working on his second studio album, Illuminate, the singer named a few of the tunes he couldn’t stop listening to. Close to the top was Nick Jonas’ “Touch”, which came out just before his sophomore album. “I was super inspired by this song,” Mendes said on Beats 1. “I thought it was so awesome because it was completely driven by this beastly guitar lick but it was also just a very vulnerable song. It really touched me that way. … I mean, the song is called ‘Touch,’ I didn’t mean to do that but I hope you guys like it.”
When it came to tracks on his album, there was one person who played a pivotal part in its sound. Mendes stated that his song “Ruin” was heavily inspired by John Mayer’s hit single, “Gravity”. The Canadian singer explained that he wanted to create music that could possibly form friendships, which is what he says “Gravity” did for him.
Shawn Mendes elaborated on the song’s impact in his life, explaining that the resulting “Ruin” was the “first guitar solo I’ve ever recorded into a song myself. It was 3 a.m. after we tried writing three songs that didn’t really work. We started playing this simple guitar riff and I started singing the whole thing.”
And as for what really got him into playing the guitar, he notes that Ed Sheeran, who was also on his playlist, is responsible for that — in particular, Sheeran’s “Gimme Love” was a major part of his early days. “This is the first song that got me obsessed with guitar and truly singing with soul. It completely inspired me to pick up a guitar and teach myself every single thing and didn’t want to stop until I was as good as he was in that video,” Shawn Mendes explained. It seems all that hard work certainly paid off!