Shawn Mendes attributes much of the new sound behind his second studio album to Connecticut-born crooner John Mayer.
While hosting his own Beats 1 special, the Canadian singer-songwriter previewed tracks off his new album “Illuminate”, which was released today, and shared his very personal musical inspirations behind the sound.
Speaking of one of his “most proud songs off the album” titled, “Ruin”, Mendes says that John Mayer’s track “Gravity” was a “huge inspiration.” He says, “This one in particular was probably the main song that inspired the entire album. I don’t know if you listened to ‘Ruin’ or not, but a lot of Gravity vibes inside of my song called Ruin. I wanted to create music I could create friendships over. This song is something that made me and my friends a lot closer. I really love this one.”
When it comes to other inspirational songs, Mendes notes Ed Sheeran’s “Gimme Love” as being the catalyst for him to learn to play the guitar. “This is the first song that got me obsessed with guitar and truly singing with soul,” he recalls. “I remember watching Ed in the studio when he was doing a loop of it. I probably watched it on replay for 4 hours until my mom was like, ‘You have to turn that off I can’t hear it anymore.'”
While he may not be a rap lover, Mendes adds that he’s a big Chance the Rapper fan. “I’m not the biggest fan of rap but it takes a certain type of rapper for me to really get into the album,” he says. “When Chance ‘Same Drugs’ came out all the songs off the album I totally freaked out. He was so so good at just hitting a good concept. For Chance, the way he put across all of his music the whole vibe I think he took the world and threw it for a loop and reminded us what music really is. I want to do that for my whole life I really look up to this guy. Hopefully I’ll get to meet him one day.”