Spout Podcast
Spout Podcast

Episode 26 · 8 months ago

Shawn Mendes

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Shawn Mendes has won over 100 awards for the music that has made him famous, but that’s only the beginning of the story. As you'll learn in Episode 26, Shawn is much more than “just” a Candian-born, underwear modeling, Camila Cabello-dating, all-around global rockstar. 

Shawn reminisces on exactly how coffee has gotten him through the pandemic, the origins of the Shawn Mendes Foundation, and exclusively lets us in on why he should have been cast in Game of Thrones.

At 14 years old, Shawn Mendez picked up a guitar. His first lesson ended with him quitting because the music teacher refused to teach him at a cheering song early on that night, he went home, watched a YouTube video, learned how to play in the next day, posted his first cover until I put that first video up on YouTube. I didn't know I could do that and until I wrote that first song, I didn't realize I could write music. I would have just said, I can't do It. I'm not one of the people that's not for me, I've been shaking. I love it when you go crazy, you take all my ambitions baby. There's nothing holding me. After a few of his covers went viral. He arranged a small fan meet up in Toronto that night, he wrote his first original song, Baby. There's Nothing Sean soon signed with Island Records where he released his first studio album and written with debut at the top of the billboard charts, making Sean just one of five artists under the age of 18 to ever do so, just one year later, the arrival of Sean sophomore album would prove his commercial success wasn't a fluke with hits like treat you better and there's nothing holding me back Illuminate would also debut at number one because I know I can stream you better. The, that was just the beginning of the next four years Sean would go on three world tours, put out two documentaries and released two more albums, both of which of course would debut at number one, the 2021 Shawn Mendez holds the record for the youngest male artist to have four albums topped the Billboard, in all of history. Having just turned 23, Shawn's passion for songwriting is as strong as ever as he lends his talents to not only his music but others most recently receiving a writing credit from Taylor Swift and Dan and Shay the, my name is eric Zachary, this is the spot podcast where famous people spout off about more than their famous for and today that Shawn Mendez Sean, what's up man, how are you? Good man, how are you? I'm good, I'm good, I'm good, where are you at in the world? Right, are you in new york? I'm in new york, I'm looking out over the Brooklyn bridge, it's beautiful, jealous. I was just at, I was just in dumbo a couple days ago, its view that will never get old man, no dumbo is pretty, pretty amazing. Hey man, we haven't talked and I don't know, 34 years, I think it was like a series of jingle balls again and again and again and now a lot has changed for you and for the world, that's pretty grand statement. Just a mild, you know, there's a few life, mild changed. Yeah, well I want to jump...

...right into kind of what seems to kick off both of our days, but also during quarantine, you know, one of the more iconic photos, I think of celebs and singers during everything. Covid was you and Camilla always going for your daily walk with a mother of coffee and what not. And it's funny because like, you know as a 20 something, right? I don't think we've ever decided to just go for a stroll as much as we have in the last year. Oh yeah, everyone was walking. It was like, it was but it was nice. It's like, it really became like so important to just like walk around. It was nice to feel a part of like a home and have a daily routine like that. Well speaking of then let's talk coffee because you know the coffee mug became iconic, I mean is that coffee with the t what was it? It was always, it was always coffee. It was just like yeah, like a different coffee. I mean I was getting really into the coffee market, Things were very zoomed in in that time period. I was like waking up in the morning and I was like, what, which coffee mug am I today? Like that. There was like a few of these like there was like a matte green and matt blue matte red. I was like, which coffee mug Amaya today? And you know, it was getting really weird, is it like a curing option or you actually like brewing old school or No, I I was brewing a chemical coffee. I was ordering from a coffee spot called verve in Los Angeles. Yeah, I was getting really technical about it and it was really, it was just like everything to me, you know it was my home, it was I'd go to bed. It's super excited for that moment. Yeah, I got that though. I mean sometimes like it and it almost brings a sense of peace to and all this uncertainty when you get to go to bed and you go, I already know what's going to make me feel better tomorrow morning. Yeah. A drug it's called caffeine has the technicality of it kept up or is it now that you're back on the road and moving around, is it Starbucks? What is it? Yeah, I'm probably, I think I'm a bit of a coffee snob to be honest with you but at the same time like sometimes when you're like in a hotel and there's like that coffee out of the hot pot and it's like at the bottom right before you walk out the door like those are nice to like I'm, coffee is now who can appreciate all types of coffee because they all, they all are great. Honestly it's really the drug that is the best part about it which is caffeine which really helps in the day. It's because I never drink coffee at all before. You know I really got into like the tv side of things before we started coming those four a.m. Call times. It's like I can't drink a red bull at four in the morning, I will actually die. No, I also throw up the amount of sugar and that it just feels sickening well now that we are, you know, I say this very hesitantly, obviously we still move forward with a lot of caution, but you know, you have the new song released Summer of Love which we're excited about. We got to see some of the video clips of you celebrating the birthday happy belated By the way man, I want to talk towards the future a little bit because we're right at the two year mark of the Shawn Mendez Foundation. So it was almost exactly two years to the day and you guys have done incredible things from helping the Australian wildfire crisis from Dodi into Toronto...

Sick Kids Foundation for a Covid 19 supplies the Change Maker award at tiff and let me let me present this as concisely as I can. What I really love about your Foundation specifically, a lot of charity foundations will zoom in microscopically at one problem and there's nothing wrong with that. But what I like is it seems that the Shawn Mendes Foundation kind of goes, hey let us help people who are already trying to change the world. However we can assist. That's the way we want to help 100%. I think always that the goal has been about educating people on how to help at the same time, like raising money to fund any type of charity we can, and now even more than ever, especially when it comes to things like climate change or really anything our main focus is supporting and funding activists and kind of just really being there to support the people who lives have been dedicated to this and also who know what they're doing and who are really doing things on a serious level because a lot of the time I think I just really don't know how to help or what to do, but these people do and so being able to support them and fund them and be there for what they need is and give them a platform, give them a megaphone, give them a voice is like probably the most effective thing I can do at the moment. Um and it's just been a really amazing process, just learning what is actually effective and what isn't effective, what is just like, looks like it's doing a lot and what actually is doing a lot. And the truth is, is that so much changes happening from these grassroots organizations of kids in cities who put everything they have into this. So, being able to support and fund those kind of activists has been really important, it's not an easy life being an activist, like you're fighting against something that every day is basically telling you it's worthless to fight against and it's exhausting and it feels like you just want to give up and so I don't wake up every day and do that. I do something different. I wake up and have the outpour of love that I get from the world and, and I just hope that the Foundation can, can just support those people, you know, Yeah, you nailed it with, with activism. The hardest thing about it is there is no switch that changes it overnight. There is no easy way to just fix and help immediately. No, sure there's things you can do to assist, but you know, that's, that comes with self education that comes with changing habits, changing others mind and the most effective way possible, not speaking at them explaining to them. It also comes with a lot, a lot long time. It's a lot of time to Yeah, and it's, I mean I've obviously, you know, kept up on the podcast. I'm a huge, huge fan of Deck shepherd and I love your conversation with him. Oh thanks man. It's cool to see, I'm sure I'm not trying to be overly uh giving of accolades cause I know that can make people feel uncomfortable, but it's just very cool to see how much work you've done on yourself and and turn it causes people like me that, you know, it's my job to...

...keep up with celebrities and music. It makes me want to work on myself too and it's just an average changing effect, but that that kind of comes to what we were talking about, right, change doesn't happen overnight. It takes time. So with that, you know, we're two years into the Foundation in the next two years. What are what are the goals? I mean, I think like, we're in like, a pretty seriously tough time, especially like, I mean, I can't even say especially, but like, even like, like focusing on climate change for a second, it's like, this is like a really crazy period and I think like, for me, it's trying to figure out how to influence government to make change and how to fund and support activists, because they're working like in their cities and their communities and kind of the second you can start influencing entire communities to stand behind something. You can start influencing cities and states and um worldwide, and I think like, just kind of being here to be a megaphone for what needs to be said, and then in any chance I get just like, be on top of what's going on. I mean, I think the thing about our Foundation and my team is they're very reactive, like anything that's happening in the world and anything that kind of opens up and needs assistance. My team is on top of so it's a continuation of that and supporting and not only supporting, but like um shedding light on those activists and and putting them in the spotlight for a second and kind of telling them how amazing this is in keeping that rolling. You know, you have a quote that I think you you a tribute to a friend of yours. I've heard you say it a couple of times and I love this that you know, when you're making fun of yourself taking yourself too seriously, you're the lead actor of the movie called Life. I don't think I have a simulated to a quote more so, you know, as someone that you're you're in the spotlight for art, but you're also in the spotlight for your activism and for your helping in the world. How do you balance knowing when to take things seriously enough as opposed to like, okay, maybe I'm not the best voice for this. Maybe I need to let someone take over my social media channel. I think it's listening to say about listening and like you're really paying attention to what people around you are saying, not only people around you, but just people, you know, the last thing I try to do in any of those situations is assumed that I know better. And I think that's gotten me to a good place and like I said, listening and the second it's not, it doesn't feel right amongst a camp of really truthful, honest people then you pivot and you do what does feel right, you know, Yeah, this episode of the spot podcast is brought to you by better help this world that we're living in isn't easy, doesn't matter who you are. We're all dealing with our own level of depression or anxiety or stress or trauma, just trying to make it day by day and that's okay, but you shouldn't have to do that alone. That's where better help comes in, right there, not a crisis line, this isn't self help, it's professional counselling done securely online, you can send a message...

...off anytime to your licensed counselor and you're gonna get a timely and thoughtful response. Plus you can schedule weekly video or phone sessions whatever you prefer. Whatever is the easiest way for you to connect with someone. That's what better help is a sounding board licensed professional counselors who specialize in these things that we're dealing with day by day. Everything you share is confidential, it's convenient, it's professional and it's affordable. It can be hard to admit, but if you're like me, sometimes you just need to talk to someone and that doesn't mean a family member or a friend that means someone that knows what they're doing and that has an unbiased professional desire to help. So if you're like me and you want to start living a happier life today Right now, you can get 10% off your first month by visiting our sponsor. Better help.com slash spout again, that's better help. H E L. P dot com slash spout to lighten it and to go off of that a little bit. You know, you've obviously had so many incredible influences in the industry because you did start so young and I love that you credit um a lot of the good advice as far as songwriting and how you pursued things to Ed Sheeran and he has this famous, famous famous quote where you know whenever your songwriting uh it's kind of like an old waterspout right? You have dirty water that has to come out first, then clean water now you just in addition to everything you're working on right now, you are credited songwriter on dan in Shay's new song, body language from their new album. How does it not get too frustrating knowing like, okay I haven't written a second. I'm rusty, I gotta get through this. And how does that change when you're writing for yourself as opposed to with or for other people? I mean the thing about writing is that I feel like no matter how badly you want to write something good, you don't really get to choose, you know? And for me, art comes from the purest form of just like feeling this way instead of I'm thinking this way, it's got to just be coming from a place of this is how I'm feeling and are something that even feels cathartic is always when it's the best art to me. Um I agree with with Ad though because it does feel like a dirty spot of water and it's like dirty, dirty, dirty, clean, dirty, dirty, dirty clean and like sometimes you just have to I mean be about that because it's all part of a process at the same time. Well we make music to release it. We also make music because it's fun and we make music because it's a skill and you get better at it. And so just like you would practice for a sport, it's like practicing songwriting. You know, I'm glad you said that, you know, because I was talking to add a couple of weeks ago when bad habits came out and he said it's weird when you're writing so much and when you put on music because music is a hobby to him when your hobby becomes your job, you then do it every day. And then it gets to a point where you're like, oh, I need a break, but then you have a break and then what do you do? Of course with that said, you know, you're kind of known for having a lot of at least what you share with the world. Random habits, you know from juggling two. I saw the...

...archery video that you posted. Have you kept up on those? Are you the kind of person that likes to try new things every week? No, not at all. I mean, I think the real reality is that I struggle to put down the guitar and I struggled to figure out what to do besides my job and besides music and I like I am just completely obsessed with it. So for better for worse, I am searching for a hobby at the moment, but like, I think that for me it's just like exploring like all those things are just exploring for me and I think that something is probably going to click sooner or later, but until then I'm going to stick to coffee and working out and, and working out most days, walk and walk you through the process though, when you are looking for something new, I mean, is it as simple as you see something that catches your eye on the street or how, how have in the past have you jumped on your hobbies? Definitely archery was from watching all seasons of Game of Thrones and that was just trying to live out a robb stark life. I love that, it's OK. So, you know, I got to ask them, are you, were you happy with how a game of Thrones ended? Or? I mean, it was definitely like, there was, there was a couple of moments that for odd, but at the same time, like, who cares? Because the whole season was phenomenal and like the whole the whole series was phenomenal, like it was the most I've ever enjoyed watching tv in my life, so I'm not gonna, I'm not going to sit here and talk about the final show because in the grand scheme of things that show was mind blowing. It was, it was perfect when you look at it as one. Yeah, that's so true. So if you were asked hypothetically here, let's you know, they're working on the prequel, let's or lets say 20 years down the line, they do a reunion, friends style for Game of Thrones, and you were asked to be involved in any capacity that you wanted, would you want that to be from a music perspective, would you want to try something new? How would you want to be involved in that? I mean, I mean, I always think at some point I'm going to write music for a film or a series. I think that would be amazing. Kind of like how Eddie better did into the wild. I always thought that was really beautiful, But yeah, I mean, I always love to be part of stuff like that music, it would be really cool, curious. Maybe maybe we can make that happen. I think you should, maybe I'm saying this like, you know, I'm an executive producer and Game of Thrones, but you can show off your archery skills to I want to touch on social media and I know that this is something you probably asked about a lot, but I think that at least what I've heard you say in the past and you've gotten to dive into the conversations is so very helpful too. Anyone that's a part of it, right? And it's this thing that it's this necessary evil in terms of um happiness in some aspects, in terms of promotion, But then there's this weird stigma where it puts people on a pedestal whether they want to be or not and I kinda wanted to get some thoughts on this because you just tweeted the other day, you know, sorry, I've been kind of absent, I've had an unhealthy relationship but I'm better at balancing it now. How how are you better at balancing it? I think in a lot of ways I surrender to the fact...

...that social media is part of the culture and it's a beautiful part of the culture and I enjoy it a lot more and I kind of just allow myself to be swept up in the fun of social media, but I have to remind myself that is just numbers and pictures at the end of the day, like none of that is a representation of my worth or who I am as a person and I think that is something that I'm constantly struggle with struggling with and I think a lot of people are struggling with and you have to be able to sign out, you know, it's just important and that's I think the balance is engaging and having fun and reaping the fun of social media, but signing out when you when you close your phone and realizing like none of that actually defines you at all as someone that got their start on vine and you see a lot of comparison between vine and Tiktok in my opinion, the two very different platforms. What do you wish Ticktock had more of and what do you wish it had less of? I mean I really am not want to say honestly. I think it's hilarious. I think the app is genius and I think that like the singers on the app amazing and mind blowing the, the trends, the comedians like it's hilarious and I took, I would not been to Tiktok for so long and I bent over the last couple of months and I've bent far. It's one of those things where it's like, no, I'm good. I think everyone ironically got on it at some point at least ironic. It was ironically and they're like, I'll just see whatever, you know, what's the worst that could happen? Yeah. What's the worst that could happen? You're scrolling for four hours and you, your feet are asleep before you know what you're doing the question barbara exactly. I've been there, I've been there coming back real fast to the balance side of it because here's the difference between, you know the general public or myself and you, when you, when I open twitter or instagram, I opened those things going, do I have any updates? Do I have any notifications? You, it's an almost certainty that you do. So are you reminding yourself to put yourself in a good head space each and every time you open it or is it just more of a check in every couple of weeks? No, I'm checking it all day long. I mean I I hate to say that but I I am and um I go through phases where I like, I don't need to check it for a few days. Um but I think so, I think that I'm just checking it out of habit sometimes and I'm just checking it because I'm curious about what's happening on the, on the, into the world. Well, as we look forward to what comes next, you know, coming back to the ID sharing advice, you know, the biggest advice in the world that he gave you is take breaks, you know, take time for yourself and obviously we were all forced to take breaks in time for us over the last year, but now let's say fast forward in a year and a half, you know, God willing. We beat every aspect of this and you do get to go on that adventure somewhere. Do you have, have you been working on thinking of areas...

...to go? Are you following his lead? Um I've traveled a lot through tour so I don't need to travel that far. I think it's just about where I travel. I'd love to go spend some time in Italy or spain. Um I just didn't find them inspiring countries, but maybe it would be a dream to spend a month in spain. I am so appreciative of the time, I'm so excited to see what's coming excited for the single coming out to and everything else that's in the future and I really appreciate you taking the time to talk to us Of course, thank you guys appreciate you. See more of our conversation with Shawn Mendez. It's spout underscore podcast on I. G and twitter or its spout podcast dot com next week, Anthony ramos spouts off. I think sometimes we associate like generosity with like I won't like I don't have enough so or or generosity is like we associate generosity solely with just money or like finances and things, but I'm like generosity comes from time like effort, love. Like that's all generosity, you don't need to have money to be generally be sure to listen to the spout podcast every thursday night at nine on apple podcasts, Spotify, google podcast or wherever you get your podcasts. The spout podcast is presented by Alpha Media produced by gorilla sound and created by Phil Becker. It's about yeah. Mhm Yeah. Okay mm Yeah.

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