Shawn Mendes sat down with SiriusXM’s The Morning Mash Up on SiriusXM Hits 1 on Friday morning (Oct. 2) to describe how girlfriend Camila Cabello inspired him to write his upcoming album and how he can’t wait to see her again after more than a month apart.
“She’s doing amazing. I haven’t seen her actually in like a month and two weeks, not that I’m counting,” he told co-host Nicole Ryan, who wondered if Cabello had heard Shawn’s just-released single “Wonder” and what she thinks of it.
“She’s back really soon and I think it’s interesting ’cause when your girlfriend is an insanely talented, real musician who writes her own music, it’s scary to write an album around her. And she was with me when I was kind of in the studio doing it. I realized the trick is like, show her the really rough demo version from your phone that you recorded, and if she doesn’t like that, she’ll tell you, then don’t wait to show her the mixed finished product. Because if she doesn’t like it then, then you’re kind of, I don’t know what to say to you. I’m sorry.”
Mendes said Cabello was a real “champion” for his upcoming fourth album (Dec. 4), which shares a name with the power ballad that Mendes co-wrote and co-produced that dropped on Thursday (Oct. 1).
He said when he first started writing the album and hashing out concepts that felt intimidating, Cabello said, “‘Go, keep going, keep going.’ And she would do this thing like once a month, ‘Hey, just a reminder, this concept you’re on is incredible. It’s going to make people feel something really special. Don’t stop. Don’t stop. Don’t stop.’ And it was this force of energy that I think was really helpful to keep me on a real cohesive – ‘Cause I think what happens is when you go to write an album, you start writing something and then you start worrying about what people think. And you start thinking about expectations. You start thinking about reactions and then you start changing your album.”
The album started coming together over the first couple months of the coronavirus quarantine, during which Mendes said he was writing in his journal a lot, as well as learning how to cook and do his own laundry. The lockdown really got Mendes in his head, with his journal entries delving into what he wanted to say while firing up candles and getting mellow with some Bon Iver.
“At the same time… I have one of my best friends from home. He’ll just text me. I haven’t seen him in like seven months and he’ll text me and he’ll just be like, ‘don’t forget, man, life rips,'” he said. “And he’s just being like, ‘don’t forget, man. Life is awesome.’ And to me I think ‘Wonder,’ really represents that. And it has this really super intimate feel. I’m going back and forth with tons of concepts of reflection. And by the end, it’s kind of like, don’t forget life rocks. You know?”
At the end of the day, though, Mendes said you just have to finish the project, let it breathe out in the world and hope for the best, which he feels like he’s doing for the first time ever with Wonder. Oh, and he also addressed his infamous “quarantine zombie walk” with Cabello that made headlines in April, during which the couple were filmed walking very slowly to everyone’s confusion.
“We’re like, walking down the street really slow. We almost look like zombies from The Walking Dead,‘” he said. “And everyone’s like, ‘What the heck is going on with them? Are they on drugs?” And I was like, it’s funny ’cause in that moment we were just, pretty overwhelmed by the world. And we were like, ‘Oh, man. This is a really hard time. This is scary for everyone.’ And you know, we were just like, ‘Let’s just walk slow and kind of just meditate and be chill.’ It was this really peaceful moment between us, but it’s just so funny to see that, watching that video back. We were dying, laughing because we literally looked like zombies.”
Listen to Mendes’ interview below.