Shawn Mendes has just unveiled his third studio album, which dropped Thursday night, and the 19-year-old native of Pickering, Ont., discussed the self-titled LP in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.

When making Shawn Mendes, the singer-songwriter told EW, he made the conscious decision to avoid using pronouns in his new songs due to his friendship with Teddy Geiger, who is currently transitioning to female.

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As Mendes tells EW, Geiger’s coming out to him as transgender had a profound effect on his new album as they worked together on the new music.

“I made the whole album with her. I met Teddy the night I cut ‘Stitches’ and we’ve had a really special connection ever since then, and for her to feel so comfortable with me and the other songwriters the night she came out… I can’t express how happy that made me,” Mendes told EW.

“And it’s something I really love to say: it’s a very new thing, right? People transitioning, there are still a lot of people who don’t understand it, and to refer to somebody as a pronoun that you haven’t been referring to them as their entire life, your entire life, is very difficult.”

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“But the thing that’s amazing is that I remember the day I said ‘she,’ and it wasn’t because I said it consciously, it was because I said it without thinking, basically just in conversation,” Mendes continued. “I didn’t realize I did it, but she looked at me and she had the most incredible look in her eyes. If every person in the world had one of their best friends look at them that way, and express that much joy in what it meant for her to be referred to as the pronoun she is, there would no longer be an argument [over trans rights]. People would just understand.

“It’s so powerful to have somebody you’re so close to go through something like that. It’s just f**king beautiful, man. I really wish you could have seen it.”

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Not using pronouns in his new songs, he explained, also added another layer to his songwriting: “Everything is up for your perspective. Let it be you. It really just doesn’t matter to me at all nowadays. I love how open everybody is and how open everything is. It just makes life more fun.”

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