Handwritten by Shawn Mendes

After an hour of waiting and screaming, the stadium goes pitch black. There’s a collective gasp followed by a silence. Lights click on to form a single spotlight. A figure steps into the light, revealing a lean boy with an acoustic guitar slung across his shoulders. Earsplitting screams of, “I love you, Shawn!” are heard.His voice and a strum of the guitar set off the crowd even more. He greets everyone and begins to play the setlist featuring the songs from his chart-topping pop album.Sixteen year old Shawn Mendes has definitely come a long way. Starting from his popularity on social media to singing all over the world, he’ll capture your heart with his debut album, Handwritten.

Shawn Mendes was a boy with hopes of making it big. Raised in the suburbs of Toronto, a small city called Pickering, he made six second videos of him singing covers of hit songs and posted them on a social media platform called Vine.

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At 15 years old, his first hit Vine featured “As Long As You Love Me,” originally by Justin Bieber. Within a matter of months, he gained millions of followers and even more views. He toured with other Vine superstars in late 2013 and early 2014, but in April, the group disbanded, cancelling the rest of the tour. Mendes continued his way to stardom, but focused on his music career instead of comedy and entertainment. He released two singles before Handwritten was debuted on April 14, 2015.

Mendes’s great features includes his silky voice, his music’s drum beats, and of course, his guitar. Songs like “Imagination,””Life of the Party,” and “A Little Too Much” focus on the strums of his guitar and his raw voice. In many of his songs, he keeps his voice clean rather than autotuned, unlike other artists. Songs like “Stitches” and “Air” (sung with Norwegian singer, Astrid Smeplass) sound upbeat with the use of drums and horns. Handwritten is the soundtrack of a relationship, including ballads of heartbreak and love. Mendes’ album will definitely take you on his journey. His song “Bring It Back” is filled with heartache and has a slow melody. On the other hand, a song like “Something Big” will make you want to get up and dance. The entire album uses heartfelt lines written by Mendes himself. Lyrics like “Put you in the past/Try to forget you ’cause it’s over/And every time you ask/I’ll pretend I’m okay” in “The Weight” help with the melancholy vibe produced by guitar strums. Mendes uses an upbeat tempo to match his lyrics. Verses with a heavier meaning have a slow tempo, leading to a greater impact and making you reminiscing about any past relationships.

Mendes’s album has gone far in the music industry. Since its release, Handwritten reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200 Chart,making Mendes is the youngest artist in nearly five years to have achieve this record. His album also reached No. 1 on Top Album Sales Chart. The album also sold 119,000 copies within the first week of its release(April 14-19). Besides Handwritten, Shawn Mendes wrote a song for the Disney movie, Descendants, which premiered this summer. Mendes also has 4.37M followers on Twitter and 4.9M on Instagram.

Shawn Mendes gains fans everyday as he sets records and gains media attention. Currently, he is touring the world, sharing his music. He will continue to be a pop sensation and amazing artist. Starting as a kid doing song covers on Vine to touring the world at just age 16, Mendes is for sure “Something Big.”I’ve definitely enjoyed listening to him and using my “Imagination” to vividly picture his songs, and I will never get “A Little Too Much.”

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