Toronto’s Shawn Mendes is in many ways the epitome of the Gen Z pop idol, his rapid rise to fame the perfect example of internet’s powerful ability to create a star with force.
Mendes started gathering hype back in 2013 from his posting covers of songs from the likes of Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran and A Great Big World on the now-defunct short-form video sharing platform Vine. What followed was an overwhelming flood of repeated views (or ‘loops’), comments, fan accounts, until after only a year later, at the age of 15, Mendes signed a contract with Island Records.
Since then, the young Canadian has continued to appear on Time magazine’s Most Influential lists, and his touring and recording schedule has been prolific. His debut LP Handwritten made him one of a handful of artists to receive a number one before the age of 18, and its lead single ‘Stitches’ soon reached number one in the US, UK and Canada.
The 2016 Sophomore Illuminate offered as many contagious pop hits, such as ‘Treat You Better’ and ‘Mercy’, and, much like his self-titled third record released earlier this year, debuted at number one on the Billboard 200.
But a big part of the Shawn Mendes Mania is the time and effort he charmingly returns to his devout following, and nowhere is this seen best than at his sold-out world tours and animated music festival performances. This summer the star performed at some of the continent’s best festivals such as Sziget in Budapest and MEO Sudoeste on the Portuguese coast, headlined Liverpool’s Fusion and Norwich’s Sundown Festival in the UK, and of course returned to his fans across the pond at the likes of Austin City Limits Festival.
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