2020 Grammys

Shawn Mendes Talks Learning How to Play Guitar & Opening for Taylor Swift on Spotify Podcast

Willy Sanjuan/Picture Group
Shawn Mendes at the 2018 Billboard Live Music Summit and Awards in Beverly Hills on Nov. 14, 2018.

Shawn Mendes sat down with Spotify on Thursday (Nov. 15) for the third episode of the streaming app's new podcast The Rewind With Guy Raz. In the 33-minute episode, Mendes talks to Raz about his humble beginnings and his rapid rise to international stardom after one fateful Vine upload in 2013.

At the beginning of the podcast, Mendes talked about picking up the guitar at age 13 and learning how to play the instrument through YouTube tutorials. "My dad had this old classical guitar that was given as a gift in my house with broken strings and out of tune and I didn't know how to tune it, and I kind of messed around with that for a couple of weeks," Mendes explained. "I asked him if we could get a guitar and we rented one and he was like, 'If we rent a guitar and you can learn how to play it in a couple of weeks, we'll get you guitar.'"

Mendes also recalled his first encounter with fans after hitting 300,000 Vine followers. "American Viners were coming to Toronto for the first time and they messaged me saying, 'Hey, we'd love for you to come,' and I'm like, 'Of course,'" he recalled. "There's a massive group of [300] people and they all turned around and looked at me and immediately recognized me and start running toward me."

Just two years later after his first album Handwritten went to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and his hit "Stitches" went viral, Mendes discussed being reached out to by Taylor Swift's people to open up for her on her North American tour. "I remember we were in Chicago. 'Stitches' just got to its peak, and I'm onstage in Chicago and for the first time, I did this new thing in the bridge in 'Stitches' and all of a sudden I felt the energy in the crowd all just look at me."

Check out the full episode of the podcast below.


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