Shawn Mendes has released a powerful new song, titled “What the Hell Are We Dying For?”, amid the devastating Canadian wildfires.
The Canadian hitmaker revealed he’d written the track shortly before releasing it, telling fans: “[It] felt so important to me to share with you guys in real time,” alongside some heart emojis.
The cover art for the song featured the New York skyline covered in orange haze due to the fires.
also donating to Canadian Red Cross, visit this link to learn more or donate if you can ❤️🩹 https://t.co/esJ4c9LOJp
— Shawn Mendes (@ShawnMendes) June 9, 2023
Despite Mendes’ lyrics obviously mentioning the wildfires, some pointed out there seemed to be some bits about his on/off girlfriend Camila Cabello.
The lyrics include, “Smoke in the air/ the city’s burning down/ I want to speak/ but I don’t make a sound.
“Locked in my mind, you’re all I think about/ I want to save us, but I don’t know how.”
he’s so unserious for framing this like a climate change call to action song and it’s literally just about Camila Cabello pic.twitter.com/3xy9ISffsq
— troy (@troyyallen) June 9, 2023
so you’re gonna use a climate crisis to release a breakup song about camila cabello… ikyfl 😭😭😭 https://t.co/vwjzq0QcCh
— aram (@aramnotagoat) June 9, 2023
did shawn mendes just use the canada wildfires to drop a breakup song ab camila cabello
— *･ﾟ:* 𝙞𝙯𝙯𝙮 *:･ﾟ* (@bostonscarlo) June 9, 2023
Others praised Mendes for releasing the track amid the wildfires.
shawn mendes wtf im crying pic.twitter.com/4XWVId2OAU
— eve ꕥ (@icarusfallslvr) June 9, 2023
So, @ShawnMendes wrote a song yesterday and released it today while using some footage from the intensely smoky NYC city. All in a day.
Canada has some talent! 🇨🇦
It also has a wildfire donation link. The wildfires are out of control 🥺 https://t.co/8yEfHn0Q2H
— Rebeka B (@Rebeka_Toronto) June 9, 2023
The effort you put into this song is amazing. Sharing your thoughts with us, helps to feel not helpless. I saw the TV screen and was considering ways to support all affected by the fire. Your song is your and our way to show the world what love and unity really mean.
— Mendes_Maniac83 #Heartbeat (@Mendes_Maniac83) June 9, 2023
YESTERDAY???? SHAWN YOU ARE AMAZING
— yami ★⁵ (@hymSs_) June 9, 2023
i am so glad you spoke about this huge problem through a beautiful song, thank you shawn for your commitment and participation in this world, i love you so much and i am so proud of you
— nayoo mendes (@shawnie_0898) June 9, 2023
According to Global News, the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre said that as of Thursday, there were 428 fires actively burning across the country, 231 of which were out of control. The fires have resulted in an orange haze covering cities including New York because of the bad air quality.