In 2013, a Canadian teenager by the name of Shawn Mendes started to post short clips of himself covering different musicians to Vine. Those six-second videos have since propelled the 16-year-old singer into an entirely new league. Mendes has gone from being a Vine sensation to having the number one album on the Billboard charts. In doing so, he has even beat out veterans of the music industry, such as Reba McEntire, as well as the soundtrack for Furious 7.
Over the last twelve months, Mendes has seen his career take off in a meteoric rise that many attribute to the world of social media. When he first started posting his short video clips, the singer covered everyone from Sam Smith and Ed Sheeran to Beyonce and Justin Bieber. While some individuals may say that it does not take much to post a six second clip, as Mendes points out, one only has that short amount of time to impress a person with whatever it is they have posted.
The singer has certainly done his job and impressed a number of people with his talent. In July of 2014, the singer’s first ever single, Life of the Party, entered the Billboard top 100 at number 24. With this entry on the chart, the then 15-year-old became the youngest artist to enter the Billboard Hot 100’s top 25 with his first chart entry. Earlier in the year he even headlined a performance in Los Angeles at the Greek Theatre, and sold out all 5,900 seats in less than an hour.
Mendes has gone from posting clips on Vine to a Billboard chart topper, and so much further, as he is now the opening act for 20 performances of Taylor Swift’s 1989 tour this coming summer. He was even named one of the 25 most influential teens of 2014 by Time Magazine.
In August of 2014, Mendes released a four song self-titled compilation. The mini album release was considered to be a success, with a peak at number five on the Billboard 200 chart. This was all a lead up for the singer to put together his first major label release. Mendes’ 12 song album entitled, Handwritten, released on April 14, 2015 from Island records.
Following the release of his full-length album, Handwritten, Mendes has been making the rounds of press and other televised events. He has performed on the Ellen Degeneres Show, Conan and even did a takeover event on Big Morning Buzz Live.
Although the singer started by covering other musicians, he is now writing all of his own music. With his album being in high demand and hitting the Billboard charts at the top spot in its debut, Mendes has come a long way from his Vine roots. The singer used social media to get his voice heard, and has garnered a fan base that is helping to get his name out for the world. This is only the beginning for the talented singer, who has been compared to Sheeran in his sound and Swift in his ability to put relationships into words.
By Kimberley Spinney
New York Times
Photo by Ronald Woan – Courtesy of Flickr