Shawn Mendes is the musician behind tracks including ‘Treat You Better’ and ‘There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back’.
Shawn Mendes is not fluent in Spanish, though in 2020, his girlfriend Camila Cabello revealed in an Instagram post that she was teaching the star to speak Spanish in return for guitar lessons.
Find out more about Shawn Mendes below.
Shawn Mendes has a British mother while his father is from Lagos, Portugal. He first visited Lagos when he was aged 13, and this was the first time that he performed in public.
He has spent time learning Portuguese and told an interviewer, “I’m studying, I’m not very good at it! My accent is getting better…but I can’t really think of words to speak…the vocabulary is the problem.”
In 2018, he re-recorded his track ‘In My Blood’ ahead of the soccer World Cup. He sang, for the first time in a recorded single, in Portuguese and stated that he was rooting for the country’s national team.
“I follow Portugal and England because of my parents, who are from the two countries,” he explained. “In the World Cup, I’m always cheering for Portugal and Christiano Ronaldo, who is my favorite player and probably one of my biggest inspirations.”
Though both of his parents are European, Mendes grew up in Toronto, Canada, and has one sister. He attended Pine Ridge Secondary School and outside education, played ice hockey and soccer.
In 2015, Mendes released the single ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’, a collaboration with Camila Cabello. After a series of social media posts and a second collaboration on ‘Señorita’, the two sparked dating rumors.
In 2019, they confirmed their relationship.
Cabello spent her early years in Havana before relocating to Miami when she was only six. With Spanish as her first language, she took night classes to become fluent in English.
In 2020, Cabello shared an image of herself holding a guitar online, with the caption, “Shawn is teaching me this and I’m teaching him Spanish.”
Speaking multiple languages has, it seems, been a long term interest of Mendes. In 2015, he spoke about the difficulties of interacting with European fans, with the language barrier sometimes proving to be a challenge.
“I’ve been crazy obsessed with trying to learn languages, so I’m just trying to learn all languages I can. I’m doing French and Spanish at the same time.”
“That’s a lie [that I can speak three languages]. I’m going to make that true though,” he said.
“I cannot die only knowing one language. You learn French in school but I never really paid attention. I wish I did,” he added.
Career so Far
Mendes first caught attention as a teen, when he began sharing videos on Vine. He was spotted by Andrew Gartler, a talent manager who invited him to sign a deal with Island Records.
His debut EP was released in 2014, with a full album, ‘Handwritten’, following in 2015. The track ‘Stitches’ achieved success, reaching number four on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
It wasn’t just in North America that Mendes was beginning to be recognized. ‘Stitches’ also achieved commercial success across Europe.
In 2016, he released his second album, ‘Illuminate’, which proved his ability not only as a vocalist but also as a songwriter. The album featured the song ‘Treat You Better.’
He followed with singles ‘There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back’, ‘In My Blood’ and ‘Lost in Japan’, releasing the latter two singles on consecutive days. ‘There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back’ became a top ten hit.
His third album followed in 2018 and earned the star a Grammy nomination.
A number one hit came with ‘Señorita’, his second collaborative effort with Camila Cabello. The pair were nominated for a Grammy for the track in the category for the best pop duo.
More than a dozen of Mendes’ songs have now appeared in the Hot 100 chart.