Shawn Mendes’ Silver Lining to the Coronavirus Pandemic
Shawn Mendes is letting the world in closer than ever before.
On Monday, Nov. 23, the three-time Grammy nominee’s highly anticipated Netflix documentary, In Wonder, debuted. For nearly 90 minutes, the 22-year-old Canadian pulled back the curtain on his career, meteoric rise to fame and high-profile romance with girlfriend Camila Cabello. Whether it’s with home videos of him as a kid and budding teenage singer or behind-the-scenes footage of his life as a world-famous performer on tour, viewers get a front row seat to the personal cinematic journey.
Mendes bares his soul for viewers as he reflects on his anxieties and the toll of his career, finding love and life as a young adult just trying to figure it all out under the pressures of a spotlight.
Without further ado, here are the moments from In Wonder that stood out the most:
On how his musical dreams were fostered:
“Ms. Parker, she was the vocal class teacher and I told her I want to be a singer…and she had no hesitation to believe me,” Mendes recalled. “My parents, my friends—nobody for one second looked at me and said you’re crazy. Everybody was like, ‘Go for it.'”
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On meeting Camila:
“She was in Fifth Harmony and we were both opening,” he recalled of Austin Mahone‘s 2014 tour. “My very first tour ever and she was the act after me. I was the first in the lineup with the shortest set and they went on. Five years ago, man.”
Camila added, “He was so super hyper-focused on what he was doing. I never saw him that whole tour…I thought he was cute, but I was like, he’s doing other stuff, so whatever.”
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On being only friends at first:
As the story goes, the rising young performers crossed paths again backstage at a Taylor Swift show, where they started writing “I Know What You Did Last Summer.” As a result, they spent a lot of time together performing the 2015 hit. “That’s really when the f–king saga started,” Camila said. “I really liked him. I guess he liked me, but I don’t really know.”
Despite not being a couple initially, “she was always there to look out for me as a human being,” Shawn said. “She’s got my back and I think that’s what your partner’s for.”
On Camila inspiring all of Shawn’s songs:
In the documentary, the “Wonder” singer recalled telling his famous girlfriend that every song he’s ever written has been about her. “She’s like, ‘Oh my God.’ She literally had no idea. This whole time I thought she knew,” he said. “I don’t think that I’m going to be able to write songs that really do it justice, that can really capture the things and the feelings with her.”
On their new home life together:
In the summer of 2019, the pair lived together for the first time. “Camila and I are staying in an apartment in New York City for the very first time alone and making eggs and trying to figure out how to use a Keurig,” he described. “Normal things, you know? This is really cool to just be like a 21-year-old guy and getting older. That’s happening for me, too.”
On his early apprehensions about fame:
Mendes’ younger sister Aaliyah Mendes recalled a significant comment her sibling made that he doesn’t remember anymore. “I asked him if he wanted to be famous one day and he shut the whole idea down so fast,” she shared. “He was like, ‘No, I don’t want to be famous. It seems awful.'”
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On his struggles with his voice:
Throughout the documentary, Shawn shares the anxieties he has around his voice and the wear and tear he faces with it on tour. “I’m constantly warming up and I’m constantly checking my voice,” he said, “out of fear of the fact that one day I’m gonna go to sing and it’s gonna just not come out.”
In Wonder is streaming on Netflix now.
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