It isn’t often that Shawn Mendes gives interviews or talks about his girlfriend Camila Cabello in them. But after the release of ‘Wonder’ last night, his first new single of the decade, Mendes was pretty candid about how his relationship of over one year is going and how quarantine has changed things.
He spoke to SiriusXM Hits 1‘s Nicole Ryan and SiriusXM’s Jim Ryan in two separate interviews about Cabello when asked about her and how she helped with the song.
Mendes said that right now, Cabello is doing ‘amazing’ even though they are physically apart and played a big role in helping him create his new album. (Cabello is filming Cinderella in London.)
‘I haven’t seen her actually in like a month and two weeks, not that I’m counting,’ he told Nicole. ‘She’s back really soon and I think it’s interesting ’cause when your girlfriend is an insanely talented, real musician who writes her own music, it’s scary to write an album around her.
And she was with me when I was kind of in the studio doing it. I realised the trick is like, show her the really rough demo version from your phone that you recorded, and if she doesn’t like that, she’ll tell you, then don’t wait to show her the mixed finished product. Because if she doesn’t like it then, then you’re kind of, I don’t know what to say to you. I’m sorry.’
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‘She really was a champion for this album and I remember back when I first started a lot of the concepts and they felt a little bit intimidating,’ he continued. ‘She was like, “Go, keep going, keep going.” And she would do this thing like once a month, “Hey, just a reminder, this concept you’re on is incredible. It’s going to make people feel something really special. Don’t stop. Don’t stop. Don’t stop.”
‘And it was this force of energy that I think was really helpful to keep me on a real cohesive. ‘Cause I think what happens is when you go to write an album, you start writing something and then you start worrying about what people think. And you start thinking about expectations. You start thinking about reactions and then you start changing your album. But if you want a world and you want an essence and you want people to feel a certain way, you have to decide and make it and finish it and let it breathe in the world and hope for the best because I guess that’s all you can do. And this is the first time I really felt that I’ve done that with an album. So, I hope you guys feel that too, when you end up listening front to back, if you decide to.’
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He added to Jim Ryan that quarantine literally brought him and Cabello closer. The two quarantined together in Miami when the pandemic first started.
‘She was definitely one of the first people [to hear “Wonder”],’ Mendes said. ‘I mean, Camila was a part of the whole process. So, she was around as I was writing it conceptually. It’s funny ’cause there was like a real time when she was doing her thing and then I was doing my thing and we were together, but like, also working separately and the quarantine brought us together and now we’ve kind of become one, where we’re doing our thing.
And it’s really interesting how that dynamic changes when, especially when your girlfriend’s a writer and a musician and she’s incredible, you have two options. You can be really scared and intimidated or you can be like, “Oh, I should probably ask you for some help or like what you think”.
‘I don’t know if she’s credited all over the album, but she should be because there was nobody during the time that was giving me more advice and encouragement to just stick to the way I felt about the music that I wanted to make, you know?’ he finished.