Sunday, August 05, 2018

Weekend Diversion: Shawn Mendes

This week’s artist is another whose work I first heard on our free-to-air music channel. I’d already heard of him by then, and that he was the latest hot artist. He was just a name until I saw the video above.

Shawn Mendes is 19 (he turns 20 later this week). He was born and raised in Ontario, and released his first full album in 2015. He’s gone from success to success since then.

The first of his songs I really paid attention to was “In My Blood” (video above). It was the first single from his third album, Shawn Mendes. It reached Number 9 in Australia and in Canada (Platinum in both countries), Number 13 in New Zealand (Gold), Number 10 in the UK (Silver), and Number 11 in the USA (Gold).

I liked the song from the first time I heard it, and the video, too. It’s still my favourite of his songs I’ve heard. I later learned that it’s about Shawn’s experience with anxiety disorder, something that is extremely unusual for an artist to talk about, regardless of what the song is about. Maybe that fact will help others?

The single immediately before that was “There’s Nothing Holding Me Back” (video below), the last single from his second album, 2016’s Illuminate. The song reached Number 4 in Australia (4x Platinum), Canada Number 6 (5x Platinum), Number 8 in New Zealand (Platinum), Number 4 in the UK (Platinum), and Number 6 in the USA (3x Platinum). This is also a single I’d heard somewhere along the line—maybe the chorus was used in a commercial or something, because I seldom listen to the radio anymore, and I don’t remember seeing the video before.

Finally, his first single, “Life of the Party” (video below), from his first studio album, 2015’s Handwritten (it was also on the EP he released right before then, 2014's The Shawn Mendes EP). He was 16 at the time he recorded the song and the video in 2014.

The song reached Number 9 in Australia (Gold) and Canada (2x Platinum), Number 6 in New Zealand (Gold), Number 99 in the UK, and Number 24 in the USA (Platinum). Did I mention he was 16 at the time?

There’s one more thing that has to be noted: His achievements. All three of his studio albums debuted at Number One on the Billboard 200 (USA). He was one of only five artists to debut at Number One before he was 18. He’s also the first artist to have four singles top the Billboard Adult Top 40 before turning 20. And he’s the first artist to have three Number One singles on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart before turning 20. His first single debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at Number 24 when he was less than month shy of his sixteenth birthday, making him the youngest artist whose debut single entered the charts in the top 25.

I mention all that because Shawn turns 20 later this week. So, I guess it’s Happy Birthday to Shawn Mendes. I wonder if I should thank him for making me feel like such an underachiever?

No comments: