By VERNS JOVEN
“This is legit!” quipped Canadian pop singer, songwriter Shawn Mendes as he stepped inside a room full of reporters, bloggers, photographers and videographers from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and of course Philippines, who all came for the first leg of his “Illuminate” Asian Tour. Read on and learn more about Shawn Mendes and how Manila is inspiring him.
GIST: You arrived days ahead of your concert, how’s your stay so far? Will you come back again soon after this (tour)?
SHAWN MENDES: Yes, absolutely, it is so beautiful here and the people are really really nice. The day we arrived we didn’t go out much, we just hangout and enjoyed the (ocean) view. Yesterday we went to Balete, we just drove into the woods and then it just opened to this beautiful waterfall. We played with the kids there and jumped off the waterfalls, it’s really nice. The food and the people are amazing so I’m having a good time. And the fans are loud! At the airport, its sounds like a concert.
Doing two albums, going on a world tour (and soon a musical), how do you manage all these? What’s next for Shawn Mendes?
You gotta take a day at a time, you know what I mean, and kinda let fall things into place. (I plan to) keep making music that’s good, relative. I think I will ever stop making music. I feel very inspired right now actually, more than I was when I was writing my second album and the first album. The songs have been coming faster than it ever did before so I’m excited.
You’ve talked about how all these seems surreal, how has your family back home taking all these?
They have been great esp my parents, both of them are kinda like me, hit them all at once and they had to learn everything just as fast as I did and they’ve taken it like pros. If they werent so calm about everything I would probably freaked right now so I owe my calmness to them. And my friends are great too, they don’t treat me any different and they act like nothing is going on which is kinda nice.
How’s your songwriting so far? How important is writing your own music?
It is important to tell my own story and every new place gives me new inspiration. It’s nice to write everywhere, on planes, cabs, bathrooms, and even hotel balconies like here in Manila. So far, I wrote 2-3 songs already, one of it is very upbeat, I hope it gets included in my next album.
Dream collaboration: Rihanna. I would also like to work with Drake and The Weeknd, I think they are great songwriters and musicians.
Advice to aspiring singers and songwriters: Stay original, don’t try to copy.
Song closest to your heart: Three Empty Words, it is very personal and something that happened.
Recommend a Shawn Mendez song to someone who is not a fan — yet: Treat You Better, Ruin
Shawn Mendez song that could be turned into a movie: Bad Reputation, Never Be Alone
How do you manage stress and jet lag: I hit the gym to start the day right.
What you would to your 15-year-old self: Chill
Favorite superhero: Spider-Man (Note: The host commented that Shawn looks like Peter Parker and could possibly play the role, to which Shawn agreed if given a chance.)