Shawn Mendes on What Justin Bieber Taught Him About Navigating Fame

Shawn Mendes on What Justin Bieber Taught Him About Navigating Fame

Shawn Mendes has experienced the hardship of fame over the years, but is now at a place in his life where he doesn’t take anything for granted. The 22-year-old singer just released his latest album, Wonder, which also includes the collaboration with Justin Bieber, titled “Monster.”

The two Canadian heartthrobs sing about the unexpected flip side of superstardom in the duet. After working with Bieber, Mendes told ET’s Katie Krause what the 26-year-old singer has taught him about navigating life in the spotlight.

“He’s gone through a lot and I feel like he’s really come out on the other end in a place where he realizes how much of a blessing it is to do what we do for a living,” Mendes explained. “And on top of that, he also realizes that there is darkness and there’s heavy things that happen in our career. But the truth is that in any industry it’s the same thing. And I feel like from him, there’s this constant conversation of like, ‘I’m grateful, we’re blessed, look at what’s going on around us.'”

“And I even woke up this morning and I had a lot on my schedule and I reminded myself like, ‘Oh, all I’m doing is getting on a Zoom call to be like I made an album about things that I love. And talk about things that mean something to me,'” he reflected. “And really, comparatively to what I could be doing, I’m doing something that is from heaven.”

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Mendes wrote “Monster” three years ago when he was “feeling a lot [of] pressure [about] who I was in a relationship with and [people] wanting to push me into this box.”

“Three years later, I actually listen back to it and it makes me think of every single person who has Instagram or Twitter and every single person who is checking their Instagram every five minutes to see if people approve of the last thing they posted,” he explained. “It’s tough, because there is this [societal] pressure that everyone has and is putting on each other, and something that is so true and I don’t think is talked about enough is that the human condition is messy.”

“As babies, we fall and learn — that is how we don’t do something again and that is how we grow,” Mendes added, “and I think as adults — I don’t know who decided that we are not allowed to keep learning or to fall… We got to be OK with being messy and falling, and if somebody falls, don’t push them down, don’t put your foot on top of them, help them up and teach them. I think that’s the way that culture can really be there for each other and I think it is a beautiful thing for that reason.”

Shawn Mendes Documentary ‘In Wonder’: All the Must-See Moments With Camila Cabello

Shawn Mendes Documentary ‘In Wonder’: All the Must-See Moments With Camila Cabello

Meanwhile, Mendes says Wonder is his “favorite art that I’ve ever made.” The singer wrote or co-wrote the 14-track LP, which he describes as “a reflection of my life at the moment, or, rather, over the last six to seven months.”

“I had a big moment of anxiety and fear, and I felt like I wasn’t able to make music at the top of the year. And I think that was all coming from a place of fear, of people not liking the music I made, or fear of maybe not being able to make music better than I made in the past… and it was kind of choking me as a songwriter,” he revealed, adding that he gave himself some time to “figure out what was at the bottom of that.” “And I just went in with the thing of like, hey, this is it. I showed up, I’m here to make music, I’m here to make art, and if it happens in the best way, it does, and if it doesn’t happen, then it doesn’t…. And ironically, when I freed myself from that expectation.”

See more of ET’s exclusive interview with Mendes —  including him talking about his relationship with Camila Cabello — in the video below.

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