By Scott T. Sterling
For emerging pop star Shawn Mendes, music stardom is coming six seconds at a time.
Utilizing the video app Vine, Mendes has been sharing his quick takes on songs like The Neighbourhood‘s “Sweater Weather,” Beyoncé‘s “Drunk in Love,” and Oasis‘ Brit-pop classic, “Wonderwall” since fall 2013, interspersing them with slice-of-life videos from his high school classrooms and holiday scenes at his family’s Toronto home. These few second clips helped generate a massive fan base for the teen singer, who currently commands three million followers. And after hopping over to YouTube to post full-length acoustic versions of pop hits like Lana Del Rey‘s “Summertime Sadness,” Mendes earned himself a deal with Island Records.
Wherever Mendes goes, his fans are sure to follow, which was made evidently clear after the release of his self-titled debut EP of warm, affable pop in late July. The singer called on his legion of fans to support the record and they responded in overwhelming fashion, sending the EP to the No. 1 slot on the iTunes chart mere minutes after it hit the internet. The release would go on to debut at No. 5 on the Billboard 200.
“I wasn’t expecting it to hit No. 1 in like 35 minutes,” the 16-year-old marveled during a recent phone interview with Radio.com. “All I can say is that my fans just killed it. They’re a complete army. I was just blown away.”
Talking about the EP, Mendes singled out the track “Show You” as his favorite of the bunch.
“The song is about how people are always telling you that you can’t do something because you’re too young or whatever, and how you have the power to show the world that you can do whatever you want,” he explained. “It’s a pretty empowering song.”