It seems like every up-and-coming singer has a Taylor Swift-advice story!

And Canadian teen heartthrob Shawn Mendes is no different. Mendes, now 19, got his first shot on a grand stage while opening for Swift’s 1989 World Tour in 2015. That tour helped forever shape how the “Something Big” singer tackles live events.

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“She told me not to be afraid to go out on stage,” Mendes tells VMAN for the publication’s 38th issue, “because everyone in the stadium came to have fun. This is not a judging contest, this is a concert.”

Mendes has a supportive audience with many young people in his fan base, but the Canadian says they don’t bite their tongue. “People need to give [my fans] a little bit more credit,” he says. “If something’s not good, oh, they let me know.”

The “Treat You Better” singer was recently named one of Time‘s most influential teens, so how does he carry that weight on his shoulders? “I didn’t go into this to become that. I think it’s not about what you say; it’s about what you don’t say,” Mendes continues. “During crazy times, I just hold back. People are so quick to jump on something or rip it apart. There’s so much negativity on social media, I don’t want to add to that.”

“Any of this could be gone tomorrow,” he adds. “That’s why you’ve got to make the most of it today.”

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It has been a wild ride for the young Canadian. Both his debut album, Handwritten, and his sophomore effort, Illuminate, went platinum and No. 1 in multiple countries, including Canada and the U.S.

Mendes is currently on his Illuminate World Tour, which wraps in Tokyo this December.