For the new cover of VMan magazine, Mendes was interviewed by the pop legend about his upcoming album Wonder, his career so far, and how his girlfriend Camila Cabello has become a “very calming presence,” as John put it, in his life.
In the interview, John asked the 22-year-old singer about the change he’s seen in himself since getting together with Cabello. Mendes said the “Havana” singer has ultimately taught him a few things about taking time for the people you love. “For seven years, I was on such a speedy path down one way with blinders on, and I wasn’t keeping in touch with my family and friends,” he said. “But when I landed with Camila, immediately she had her family around more. [She’s] all about the family and friends, and it really made me like, ‘Oh, I should call my mom’ … I felt a little bit alone out there and she changed that for me.”
Mendes also gave John a preview of his upcoming album Wonder (due Dec. 4), saying that the music and lyrics for the new album came after Mendes decided to just write about the things he had been afraid to say for so long. “I’ve felt like I’ve been in a bubble for quite a long time, where I’ve been very afraid to speak about things that I feel really passionate about,” he said. “When I was able to sit and let my world stop spinning and come still, this stillness came over me and I realized, you know, when it comes to matters of the heart, we don’t need to be experts … I started journaling and writing a lot of my thoughts down. That’s where Wonder came in.”
John himself took a moment to complement Mendes for his ability to sing “through the roof” when performing live, and offering up his hopes for the star’s career going forward. “You have so much more to do like that. That’s why I love talking to you in this stage of your career, because I know what’s going to happen to you,” John said. “It’s already happened, but it’s happening on your terms. I think it’s really important for you to stress that. You are 22 and everything is happening on your terms. You’re not being guided … that is the biggest asset you have.”
Check out the full interview between Shawn Mendes and Elton John here.