Vine Superstar Shawn Mendes Signed to Island Records (Exclusive)
Fast-forward and Mendes is now the third-most-followed musician on Vine and, in late May, he signed with Universal Music Group subsidiary Island, resulting in "Party." He's also preparing to tour with Austin Mahone, the Vamps and Fifth Harmony in July.
"I think what's going to happen is it's me and the guitar, the most raw experience with me and my fans," Mendes told Billboard earlier this month. "I'm definitely not used to anything that's going on. I'm in awe."
In between, the Toronto-based Mendes won Ryan Seacrest's "Best Cover Song" contest with his take on A Great Big World's "Say Something," the same song that had caught the attention of his now-manager, Andrew Gertler, who'd discovered Mendes online a few months earlier.
Another coup: Ed Sheeran flew Mendes to Los Angeles for dinner after watching videos that Gertler had sent to his publicist. "I feel like he was trying to help me be successful in the industry by giving me all this advice," says Mendes. "He's the most humble guy I've ever met. I forgot he's my idol. I felt like I was in the room with one of my buddies."
Now, Mendes is set to join the likes of Sheeran on the Hot 100.
"Our reason for getting involved with Shawn is not specifically because of his following online," Massey told Billboard following Mendes' signing. "It's great when an artist has a platform, but I think we would have signed Shawn [even] if we discovered him a different way.
"His talent, industry and intelligence are all factors that contribute to wanting to be involved with someone who's so young, so talented and so driven."
Additional reporting by Keith Caulfield