The Rise of Shawn Mendes

Brooke Sheehy and Eva Hadjiyanis

In May 2014, Canadian singer-songwriter Shawn Mendes was signed by Island Records after years of posting songs for millions of fans on the video sharing app Vine. That June, he released his first single, ‘Life of the Party,’ joining the ranks of Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber as a pop artist with a young and ever-increasing fanbase. Today, at 18 years old, Mendes has released two full albums and is in the midst of his biggest tour yet, the Illuminate World Tour. Coming to Minneapolis on August 6, Mendes will be performing live at the Xcel Energy Center in front of thousands of screaming fans and two of yours truly, Zephyrus editors Brooke Sheehy and Eva Hadjiyanis.

The Illuminate album was released on September 23, 2016, and has twelve tracks. The album debuted at the top of the Billboard 200, and includes the popular radio hits ‘Treat you Better,’ ‘Mercy,’ and ‘There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back.’ The album has been at the top of charts all over the world, but is especially popular in Europe and North America. The tour schedule reflects the success that Mendes has had in these areas, consisting of 21 shows in Europe and 29 in North America.

The Illuminate World Tour is Mendes’s third concert tour and his biggest yet. When discussing the differences between his previous tours and the Illuminate World Tour with Entertainment Weekly, Mendes said “We’re doing arenas, man. It’s a big deal. It’s a big difference. You have so many more crew members. It’s a bigger stage, a bigger setup, more buses. It’s huge,” he said. Mendes has certainly come far since his Vine days. In fact, Charlie Puth, a popular radio artist famous for the hit songs ‘Marvin Gaye’ and ‘We Don’t Talk Anymore,’ will be opening for him at every tour performance.

Mendes has been asked repeatedly about his future plans, however he prefers to live freely, seeing what comes his way, rather than construing broad plans. “I’m always wary of trying to guess. Hopefully I’m still on stage, but if not I’m sure I’ll be writing songs somewhere. I’m never going to stop doing music,” said Mendes in an HV1 interview.

Despite the pressure of fame, Mendes remains true to his roots. We hope to catch you all at the Xcel for what could be his best performance yet.