How Shawn Mendes Is Turning Vine Fame Into a Music Career
Mendes, who will be 16 next month, secured a following on Vine, where he had 300,000 fans awaiting his posts. Record labels caught wind of his strong social media presence.
"Island Records was the first record label to ... acknowledge me," said Mendes, who signed with the label. "After that, quickly Republic Records, and then Atlantic Records, Sony Records and Warner Bros. It was all the labels at once. It was absolutely insane like knowing that this many record labels were interested in me."
Mendes' strong social media stardom is translating to the pop charts: His single, the ballad "Life of the Party," debuted at No. 24 on the Billboard Hot 100 earlier this month, selling an impressive 148,000 tracks. He has 2.8 followers on Vine and 1.3 million followers on Twitter.
He will release his four-song, self-titled EP next week and will go on tour with Austin Mahone and Fifth Harmony on Friday in San Antonio.
"I never really looked at Vine as a resource to find talent," Chareton said.
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"We knew the social following was there, but he had never sold a song before," Gertler added. "Coming to New York and seeing that girls were showing up to his hotel and seeing that these numbers online were translating to physical people was when we were kind of like, `OK, this is getting serious.'"
Chareton said Mendes' sound will echo Ed Sheeran, John Mayer and OneRepublic.
"I want this to be the complete antithesis of Austin Mahone. Even though he's going on tour with him to kind of garner that same demographic and fan base, we want quality records," he said.
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Some people have likened Mendes to Bieber, a Canadian teen who had a breakthrough on the Universal Music Group label. Chareton said he's OK with the comparison, but notes that fans should also expect something different.
"I take no offense to that because (Bieber) became extremely successful, but the one thing I will say about Shawn is you're never going to see him onstage with 30 background dancers, pyrotechnics and records produced and having features from Nicki Minaj," he said.