Shawn Mendes is bringing Camila Cabello and Tarzan to Canada and they 'might never leave'

He also talked about his 'empowering' experience working with Justin Bieber.
December 7, 2020 7:10 p.m. EST
December 10, 2020 11:02 p.m. EST
Courtesy of Shawn Mendes Courtesy of Shawn Mendes

Canadian musician Shawn Mendes has had an extremely busy 2020: creating an entire album during quarantine, getting new puppy, Tarzan, with his girlfriend Camila Cabello, releasing his Netflix doc Shawn Mendes: In Wonder and of course, dropping his fourth studio album, Wonder. The new 14-track album features previously-released songs like “Wonder” and “Monster,” his collaboration with Justin Bieber, but it includes a handful more songs that are all about his love for Camilla.

While catching up with etalk's Tyrone Edwards for etalk Open House, the Canadian singer revealed that he would be bringing Camila and Tarzan home for the holidays. Yes, you read that right, Shawn, Camila and Tarzan will be in Pickering for Christmas, and he said that the three of them "might never leave." We can only hope that Shawn and Camila share all of the pics of Tarzan running through the snow.

Tyrone and the "Wonder" singer discussed Shawn's personal growth both in life and in his music and the importance of friends *cue his new single, “Call My Friends.”* The pair bonded over their love of cardigans, and Shawn said that he hopes they never go out of style because he's "been living in them" and loves them just as much as he loves a good flannel shirt. ("I love flannels. I've always worn them. It's super Canadian to wear a flannel.") Once they were done talking about their love of fashion, Tyrone and Shawn dived right into discussing all things Wonder.


WATCH: Shawn Mendes performs a stripped down version of 'Wonder'


[video_embed id='2095254']WATCH: Shawn Mendes performs a stripped down version of 'Wonder'[/video_embed]

Tyrone: Congratulations on Wonder. It's so cool because every time I get a chance to chat with you or hear you speak, I can really sense that personal growth and then when I hear the music, you can hear it in the music as well. I want to know how much work you've been putting into Shawn and how much it's affected this new body of music that you're giving us. 

Shawn: The amount of internal work I've been putting in over the last year-and-a-half has been unreal, and it's nonstop. I think it's not talked about enough, and I think that's why I feel like it's great because we always have these conversations where we talk about these things. I had a real extreme fear of meeting people's expectations with this album and judgement of what people were going to think, and it closed my ability to write for a month. I was completely locked up by fear of what people were going to think about the album and what they were going to think about me if my music wasn't as big. I started realizing that I was defined by my success, and if I wasn't successful, then what was I? That was killing me, and I had to really go down a path of realizing that I'm so much more than my success of my music and how many Instagram followers I have.It took a lot of time — I'm not going to say "took" as if I pulled it off; I'm saying it takes a lot of effort constantly, daily to continue to remember that regardless of the success of our work, we are worth something. The ironic thing, I think, about life is that the more we can free ourselves and believe in ourselves beyond levels of success, the better the art comes and the more exciting the art is; the more pure and the more honest and authentic it is. That's what I feel like this album really is to me, and that didn't come from a place of chasing. It came from a place of letting go.

Combine that with a pandemic. I can't begin to assume how it affected you because there's one thing I realized once you do have conversations with anyone is that it's affected us in so many different ways and all differently. Tell me about your creative process of creating this album in a pandemic.

 It was scary at first because usually I'm used to just being able to go into the studio and just create. But now I was in a house, and I had a journal and a pen, and it was much different. The most amazing part of the whole process was being able to just journal my thoughts down on paper and coming up with the essence of the album before even walking into a studio to play an instrument. I've never done that before, and I think when people listen to the album, they're going to feel a cohesive world that came from pausing and thinking and creating it before just doing. Sometimes I'm a fan of just walking in and doing and not thinking about it. But sometimes, it's really important to just sit and conceptualize and let it grow.

Calling your friends. Not just an idea, not just a part of your routine, also now a part of your music internally. How important is it, and how much do your personal relationships either hinder you or enable you while you're on the road and being the big star that you are?

Every person is different, but everybody needs to get their priorities in check of what they want to put importance on. For me, my friends and my family have always been a high, high priority for me. At times I've let them slip away because I've been focused on my career and, at times, the opposite. But it's always about finding a balance that's right for you. Lately, I've just been feeling like I need to just spend time with them, especially because of the pandemic. I haven't seen my best friend Brian in like nine months, which is crazy because since we were 8 years old, I've never gone more than three weeks without seeing him. It really puts in perspective how important people are to you when you're away from them. Friends, they're everything, you know.

Let's talk about "Monster" because I'll be real with you. I've always been a Justin Bieber fan. You know I've always been a fan of yours. When I saw that "Monster" was coming out, it just felt so right. It felt so good. I was so excited about it. What was it like working with the Biebs?

He is so gracious. He's gracious to everyone, but I think he had an extra level of giving towards me because he knows that I started young too, and we've gone through a really similar life path. He's just so empowering, I don't know how else to explain it, but whenever we were around each other, he was complimenting me all day and being vulnerable with me and being so honest. I was really empowered by him, and it was a dream. It was kind of surreal at first, but then after a minute, it just became working with a friend.

I was looking back at how many pictures you and I have together as I was getting prepared for this conversation, and I remember you getting the Allen Slaight Honour at Canada's Walk of Fame. Can you believe that was in 2015? What does an honour like that mean to a young man? Because we're going back five, six years ago, and is that a turning point in your career to receive such a prestigious award?

Oh my God, that was six years ago. The honest truth is there will be a time where I slow down, and I'm able to let all of those awards catch up to me. It feels like in the moment, there's so much going on you can't understand how amazing it is and how much of an honour it is, and still, even at 22-years-old, none of that stuff has caught up to me properly. I can feel the honour, I can feel the excitement, I can feel the love, but the truth is that I think one day when I'm probably in my 50s, it'll all catch up to me. I'll be like, "Wow, that was pretty nice for a 16-year-old kid."

We have to talk about Camila because I also have a great picture of the three of us. I champion that relationship; I've just always felt like it was a good idea. In the documentary, you mention that it's always been about her. I remember having a moment like, "Wait, what you mean it's always been about her?" Spell it out for me. What has your relationship with her had an influence on your music?

She has always been a friend who was touching another level of care and love within my life. It just took me years to kind of understand and fully believe what it was. I remember I was like 17-years-old and I heard that she might have had feelings for some guy. So they're not a thing, they've never even hung out, nothing's really going on, but I go into the studio, and I'm writing songs that sound like my heart's been broken in half and ripped apart. I'm like such a dramatic 17-year-old writing these songs, assuming she would know they're about it, but I guess in hindsight, I should have just told her. I guess that's the part of growing up that happened.

I'm going to ask a question for all the fans, all the Canadian fans specifically. Are you coming home for the holidays? We won't hold it against you if you can't, given the fact that it's a pandemic.

I'm back home in five days, and the time can't pass quickly enough. In five days I'll be back in Pickering with my puppy and Camila, and I'm dying. I mean, this is the most excited I've ever been to come back to Canada. I can't wait. I might never leave this time.

etalk Open House is a series that features performances and exclusive interviews with incredible talent like The KillersJessie ReyezShaggyNiall Horan and more. Catch the series on Monday night as part of etalk’s regular  broadcast at 7pm ET on CTV  and 7:30pm on CTV2.


BEFORE YOU GO: Sam Smith shares exclusive performance of ‘Diamonds'


[video_embed id='2066093']BEFORE YOU GO: Sam Smith shares exclusive performance of ‘Diamonds'[/video_embed]

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