Archives For Shawn Mendes

My Thanksgiving tradition: Waking up early, walking a few blocks to Central Park West, chatting with some friends who are performing in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and snapping a few photos and videos the floats.
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A big thanks to Macy’s along with Rachel Platten, Pat Monahan, Brendon Urie, Questlove, Shawn Mendes, Prince Royce, Trey Songz and Spongebob Squarepants.

Some news and notes from the red carpet and press room at the 2015 American Music Awards. The show was held at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles; I watched the show from Cumulus Media’s one-on-one room, which is contained in the L.A. Live Event Deck, right next to the venue and across from Staples Center downtown.

– I saw Shawn Mendes for the first time since my Justin Bieber interview. Quick refresher: Bieber told me he didn’t know who Mendes was; both are from the same area of Canada and apparently have mutual friends. By the end of the week, Bieber not only knew who Mendes was but was praising his music.
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“No! I’m trying to find him,” Mendes responded when I asked if he finally met his fellow Canadian-born artist. “Where is he at? I’m going to go find them.”

Twitter didn’t break so I’m assuming they haven’t met. Besides he was asking the wrong person; from my vantage point I never saw Bieber at arrivals.

– A frequent question with the press seemed to be, “Is Taylor Swift here?” She wasn’t, despite leading all artists with six nominations. Swift took home three pieces of hardware, including Favorite Album and Favorite Song. As for her whereabouts, multiple sources confirmed that Swift was in New Zealand filming a music video. Her world tour continues this weekend in Australia.

– Usually you know when One Direction steps on to the red carpet because mass hysteria ensues. Girls sob. Kids scream. Security guards scurry. But this year, in perhaps the last American red carpet One Direction will walk as a group for quite some time, the guys began making the media rounds with minimal fan fare.

While the story has a different beginning, the ending is all-too-familiar. As soon as Liam, Louie, Harry and Niall stepped off of our platform and turned to head inside for the show, all you-know-what broke loose. The screams were the loudest I heard all day; the fans worked up such a frenzy that the tall fence separating them from the red carpet looked as if they might actually fall.

One Direction performed “Perfect” on the AMAs and won two awards, including the night’s biggest prize, Artist of the Year.

– Luke Bryan didn’t have time to stop with a bunch of media outlets, but he made time for almost every person in the designated “fan zone” on the red carpet who wanted a selfie. He even did the photo snapping! Bryan performed on the telecast and picked up Favorite Male Artist, Country.

– The reviews seemed to be generally positive for host Jennifer Lopez, who looked stunning in the press room. The broadcast averaged 11 million viewers and turned in ABC’s highest-rated Sunday night this fall.

Look Book – Tuxedo: H&M, Shirt: Kenneth Cole, Tie/Boots: John Varvatos, Accessories: The Tie Bar/Ray Ban

Look Book – Tuxedo: H&M, Shirt: Kenneth Cole, Tie/Boots: John Varvatos, Accessories: The Tie Bar/Ray Ban

Justin Bieber and One Direction are both quite successful. If you’re a new artist, you would probably love to be mentioned in the same conversation as those artists.

With perhaps maybe one exception: sharing an album release date.

Alessia Cara, a soulful 19 year-old singer/songwriter who like Bieber hails from the Toronto, Canada-area, dropped her debut LP Know It All last Friday. In addition to it being “Friday The 13th,” it was also the day that Bieber and 1D released Purpose and Made In The A.M. respectively.

“I know! It was like, ‘Excellent date, guys! Thanks!’” Cara joked when I brought this up to her Monday. “I just try to see it as three great albums on the same date.”

Cara purchased and enjoys both; her and Bieber share a record label home in addition to the release date. The teenager is not only a fan of Bieber’s music; she is happy that he and other artists like The Weeknd and Drake are changing the perception of Canadian music.

“I feel like Canadians are such underdogs most of the time, especially in music at first,” Cara explained. “You would never think that you should go to Toronto or like, Ontario, to find artists. That was never the cool place to go to look for music.”
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The aforementioned artists, along with Cara and Shawn Mendes are changing that. The Canadian teens have known each other for quite some time but met for the first time recently backstage at Taylor Swift’s 1989 World Tour; Mendes was a supporting act and Cara was tapped for a cameo to perform her hit “Here” with Taylor.

“(Mendes) was like one of the first people to ever tweet out anything of mine and it was before I was signed, before I had a song. He tweeted one of my covers,” she recalled. “It was two-ish years ago, and he always updates me on where my song is at (on the charts).”

The short answer to that update: high. The track has spent the past two weeks in the top 10 most played at pop radio nationally. But as Cara later told me, there can be one down side to the airplay.

“All my friends hate (‘Here’) now! They keep messaging me like, ‘I’m sorry Alessia, I hate ‘Here.’”

Thankfully for them Cara has a whole album of material that they will love just as much, if not more, than the big radio hit.

Justin Bieber started the week not knowing who Shawn Mendes was. By the end of the week, he sang the fellow Canadian’s highest praises.

In the words of Shakespeare, all’s well that ends well.

Of course this all started Monday on “Ralphie Tonight.” During an interview that aired with Bieber, I asked him if he wished he could go through what Mendes is currently experiencing with the present-day knowledge that the 21 year-old currently possesses.

In a now infamous video clip, Bieber bit the cap of the water bottle he was drinking, turned to a few of the record label representatives that were in the studio and asked, “Who’s Shawn Mendes?”

Our chat hit YouTube Tuesday, and it wasn’t long before almost every major media outlet reported that Bieber threw shade to some extent at the 17 year-old.

My reaction in the video is genuine; I was shocked Bieber didn’t know who Mendes was. I didn’t perceive it as an insult, thus why I attempted to rattle off Mendes’ current-day resume.

Wednesday morning, BBC Radio 1 Breakfast Show host Nick Grimshaw asked the “Stitches” singer about my Bieber interview.

“We haven’t met, but I guess he just doesn’t know,” Mendes told the radio host. “I’m definitely a fan of him; I’ve looked up to him for a while. But I guess he just doesn’t know who I am.

“We’ll have to let him know.”

Bieber started figuring it out after the clip went viral by following Mendes on Twitter. Then Thursday, the “What Do You Mean?” star posted a screenshot of “Stitches” on Instagram and tweeted it with the caption, “Shawn I checked out the music and I’m so proud! So glad to see another boy from Canada crushin it. #canadiansdoitbetter”

Mendes replied on Twitter with, “Thanks man! Means a lot !!!”

The course of true friendship never did run smooth.

Shawn I checked out the music and I'm so proud! So glad to see another boy from Canada crushin it. #canadiansdoitbetter

A photo posted by Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) on

Monday night’s interview with Justin Bieber is creating headlines both in the States and abroad.

Everyone is talking about it for the same reason: during my chat with Bieber I mentioned 17 year-old Shawn Mendes. I find a few similarities in the two: both achieved success as teenagers, both are talented and good-looking singers who can play guitar and both are from Southern Ontario. Mendes scored a number one album this year and has a single climbing the Pop chart. The two apparently have a number of mutual friends and were even both up in the same Much Music Video Award category back in Canada.

But, now infamously, Bieber responded to an inquiry I made about the up-and-coming singer by asking, “Who’s Shawn Mendes?”

The media is having a field day with this one. Billboard, MTV News, VICE, USA Today, E! News, Entertainment Weekly and SPIN all covered it.

Then Mendes appeared Wednesday morning on BBC Radio 1’s Breakfast Show with Nick Grimshaw. Audio of their exchange is below. The original interview hit 100,000 views in 24 hours.

And in a plot twist, last night Bieber began following Mendes on Twitter.

The reports on Justin Bieber, and there were plenty of them, said that he was simply hanging with the wrong crowd. That explained the rumors of drug use and parties, the run-ins with the law and the rather reckless behavior.

In an interview that aired Monday on “Ralphie Tonight,” Bieber admitted as much.

“I just had pretty bad people around that were just taking advantage of my generosity and taking advantage of my sweet soul,” a low-key and relaxed Bieber spilled to me while donning a black sweatshirt, hood pulled up above a black baseball cap. “I just thought that that’s how it was supposed to be. They were saying the right things.”

But Bieber, in perhaps one of the many ways that he has changed, stops short of placing all of the blame on others.

“I was young and naïve,” he admitted before adding, “and just trusting people and got my heart broken.

“So then I was just like, f— everybody.”

But now the 21 year-old is surrounded by a group of people he feels is looking out for his best interests. I ask if those people, such as his mother Pattie Mallette and manager Scooter Braun, were always there but simply not paid any attention to until now.

“For sure, but it has to be on your time,” he replied. “They were poking me and poking me saying, ‘Justin! Justin!’ (But) until I really wanted to listen, it wasn’t going to happen.”

But this journey, which he explains involves no longer internalizing what people say but rather reflecting it back out in to the world as a positive light (his words, not mine), is what Bieber attributes in part to scoring his first chart-topper on the Billboard Hot 100. “What Do You Mean?” debuted at number one, with 337,000 downloads sold in its opening week.

“I want it to be all about the music but you want to see people win when they’re genuine and authentic,” he stated. “I was in a place before where I was just trying to figure it out.”

It seems that at least to this point, Bieber has done that, although even he warns that inevitably he will “fall again.” But right now his focus is on a new album, due out this November, which he says is “40% done.”

“Like the album is pretty much complete,” he elaborated. “I just have so much touching up to do, but it’s going good.”

By “touching up,” Bieber means that he’ll go back to some songs after he sits with them for a few weeks and re-cut lines and/or add background vocals. The Canadian-born singer said there will be features on the LP, but would not reveal who. However when I asked him what artists are influencing him positively, one came to mind.

“I really like Ed Sheeran,” he responded. “I think he’s a really good dude too.”

And perhaps that is just an example of Bieber “reflecting” his light of positivity towards others. Ultimately though, he will be judged by his actions and not words. Yet even his harshest detractors might admit that the pop star sounds like someone who has experienced a life-transforming moment or two.

It seemed like a good idea: Mike Allan was interviewing Shawn Mendes in Midtown, so I said to ask Mendes a question about more fans baking him chocolate and blueberry muffins since our February interview.

So much for that.

With his new album Handwritten debuting atop the Billboard 200, we figured it was a good time to revisit our chat with Shawn Mendes. The 16 year-old Canadian has amassed a huge and loyal online following, and will surely see many of “Mendes Army” out at Taylor Swift’s “1989 World Tour.”

Mendes will serve as one of the supporting acts for Swift’s North American stadium dates.

Sights and sounds from day 1 of “Ralphie Tonight” at the Staples Center in Los Angeles for Westwood One’s “Red Carpet Radio” at The 57th GRAMMYs. GRAMMY winners, award-winning directors, up-and-coming stars and everyone in between stopped by to chat on “Ralphie Tonight.”