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21 Handwritten Opinions From Shawn Mendes

The Viner turned pop star reveals his thoughts on headlining, Hogwarts, and everything in between.

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Less than a year ago, Shawn Mendes was just another talented Viner singing six-second covers in his bedroom. Last spring, however, the 16-year-old singer-songwriter parlayed his 2.7 million followers into a deal with Island Records and has been on the road to IRL stardom ever since. Case in point: The "Something Big" singer will release his debut album, Handwritten, in April after he wraps up his first stint as a headliner but before he joins Taylor Swift's massive 1989 tour as an opening act. We caught up with the Canadian cutie before all the craziness to talk about everything from headlining to Hogwarts and, always a good sport, he even agreed to ~handwrite~ the answers.
David J. Bertozzi / BuzzFeed

Less than a year ago, Shawn Mendes was just another talented Viner singing six-second covers in his bedroom. Last spring, however, the 16-year-old singer-songwriter parlayed his 2.7 million followers into a deal with Island Records and has been on the road to IRL stardom ever since. Case in point: The "Something Big" singer will release his debut album, Handwritten, in April after he wraps up his first stint as a headliner but before he joins Taylor Swift's massive 1989 tour as an opening act.

We caught up with the Canadian cutie before all the craziness to talk about everything from headlining to Hogwarts and, always a good sport, he even agreed to ~handwrite~ the answers.

1. How do you actually write your songs — by hand or using technology?

David J. Bertozzi / BuzzFeed

Shawn Mendes: It depends. I mean, if there is a notepad and notebook I will usually go for that route because it feels more genuine when you’re writing on a piece of paper. It just feels good. Like, you feel like you’re a cooler songwriter. But if it’s very quick and spontaneous then I’ll just put it in my phone. I usually end up putting it on a pad anyways — with my bad handwriting.

2. What’s your favorite lyric you’ve ever written?

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SM: Oh, that’s a hard, hard, hard question. That’s one of the hardest questions I’ve ever been asked.

David J. Bertozzi / BuzzFeed
David J. Bertozzi / BuzzFeed
David J. Bertozzi / BuzzFeed
David J. Bertozzi / BuzzFeed

3. What song by another artist do you wish you had written?

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4. What’s your favorite song to cover?

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SM: Is that spelled right? I feel like when I’m doing stuff like this I’m just gonna misspell everything. I should never have named this album Handwritten. Biggest mistake of my life.

5. What makes a song hard to write?

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6. What’s your favorite Taylor Swift song?

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SM: T-Swizzle! It’s between “Wildest Dreams” and “Bad Blood.”

7. What’s the most embarrassing thing to ever happen to you on stage?

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SM: So, basically I got on stage in Philadelphia and I had been awake since 2 a.m. and it was, like, 8 o’clock at night and I tried singing but no words came out; just complete mumbo. I don’t know why! I should know the words to my own song but they just didn’t come out.

8. What was the most memorable concert you’ve ever played?

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SM: Did I write that OK?

BF: Yeah, that looks great!

SM: It’s like good writing, right?

BF: Yeah, it’s very good writing.

SM: That’s the best writing I’ve ever done in my life. Easily.

BF: Frame it.

SM: I should just rip it out and keep it.

BF: So, why Nashville?

SM: It was an outdoor concert and it was the first time I ever went to Nashville. I loved Nashville. I was amazed by the whole place. But, anyway, it was an outdoor concert. The stage was in the middle of the woods, surrounded by trees. At nighttime everyone brought their phones out and it was like an upside down version of seeing stars in front of you. The energy was amazing and the crowd was incredible and it was one of my best performances. Everything about it all came together to be one of my favorite shows.

9. What was the most memorable concert you’ve ever been to as an audience member?

David J. Bertozzi / BuzzFeed

SM: To be honest, I’ve only been to one concert and it was Aerosmith. Aerosmith and Slash.

10. Do you have any preshow rituals?

David J. Bertozzi / BuzzFeed

SM: Not really. I just try to calm out and make everyone leave me alone and just chill. I wish I had some really cool thing like I ran around the stage 10 times. I just try to forget about how many people there are. Or, actually, what calms me down is running through my songs so that I remember how they go. I make sure my voice is ready.

11. What’s the best or weirdest sign you’ve seen a fan holding at the show?

David J. Bertozzi / BuzzFeed

SM: Oh man, I’ve seen so many.

BF: Is there any significance to “the muffin man?”

SM: Yeah, I love muffins and I’ve definitely made that clear to my fans.

BF: What’s your favorite muffin?

SM: It depends, if it’s the evening I’ll go for a chocolate chip but if it’s morning I’ll 100% go for blueberry. I’m all over the place with muffins. Carrots are great. Banana, chocolate chip, they rock too. I love muffins, they’re my shit.

12. You’re normally behind a guitar but in the “Something Big” video you do a little choreography — are you a good dancer?

David J. Bertozzi / BuzzFeed

SM: I’m the worst dancer ever and that was so hard for me to do. That was strictly four hours the night before to choreograph 10 seconds of the song.

13. You’re about to be a headliner for the first time. What’s different about that?

David J. Bertozzi / BuzzFeed

SM: Everything is different. It’s like, Wow, I sold out this place. It’s more pressure. It’s more exciting. It’s everything. You just feel like you’re growing as an artist. It just feels really cool, like, this is your show. It says “Shawn Mendes” not “opening act Shawn Mendes.”

14. Do you have a second single picked out yet?

David J. Bertozzi / BuzzFeed

SM: I don’t, but I definitely have ideas.

15. What’s your favorite emoji?

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SM: I don’t think I can draw it, to be honest.

16. What’s your biggest fear?

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SM: The ocean.

17. Print or cursive?

David J. Bertozzi / BuzzFeed

18. Favorite subject in school?

David J. Bertozzi / BuzzFeed

19. Do you still have a curfew?

David J. Bertozzi / BuzzFeed

SM: Yeah, sometimes. On weekends, definitely.

20. What’s the best mistake you’ve ever made?

David J. Bertozzi / BuzzFeed

21. What Hogwarts house would you be sorted into?

David J. Bertozzi / BuzzFeed

BF: I will say, I was on Tumblr today in the Shawn Mendes tag and there were a lot of fans who thought you’d be in Hufflepuff.

SM: What?

BF: There were posts about Shawn in Hufflepuff because you’re so nice.

SM: Why do they think that? Hufflepuff is useless!

BF: Hufflepuffs are nice. They were saying you’re so nice!

SM: That’s upsetting. I need to start being more mean.

BF: No! That’s Slytherin.

SM: I have to be brave to be Gryffindor. How do I be braver? I thought I’ve been brave. Where do you think you’d be? Gryffindor, right? Who wants to be anything but Gryffindor?

BF: I would’ve been Ravenclaw, for sure.

SM: Ravenclaw actually is cool though. They are geniuses.

BF: I think Hufflepuffs have a good sense of humor.

SM: Really? I just feel like throughout the movies and books you never really know much about Hufflepuff and you’re just kinda like, they’re dumb and useless. But they’re not, I love them.

David J. Bertozzi / BuzzFeed
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