Q&A: Shawn Mendes on his Canadian-themed tattoo, being obsessed with John Mayer | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Q&A: Shawn Mendes on his Canadian-themed tattoo, being obsessed with John Mayer

Shawn Mendes shows off his new tattoo in this recent handout photo. Pop star Shawn Mendes is growing up right before our very eyes. Shortly before he graduated from high school last week the 17-year-old singer swung by a Toronto tattoo shop to get his arm inked for the first time. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Chronic Ink *MANDATORY CREDIT*
July 04, 2016 - 12:17 PM

TORONTO - Pop star Shawn Mendes is growing up right before our very eyes.

Shortly before he graduated from high school last week the 17-year-old singer swung by a Toronto tattoo shop to get his arm inked for the first time.

It was a milestone for the teenage musician who rose to fame with his chart-topping 2014 album "Handwritten," and hit songs like "Stitches" and "Life of the Party."

Mendes will embark on a world tour this summer, with stops in Vancouver (July 27) and Toronto (Aug. 21).

He talked to The Canadian Press about the story behind his new tattoo and how John Mayer inspired his second album.

Check out the Instagram account of his tattoo artist to get a peek at Mendes' ink: https://www.instagram.com/liviatsang/

https://www.instagram.com/liviatsang/

CP: Your fans have been excited about seeing your tattoo on Instagram. From afar it looks like an acoustic guitar, but on closer inspection the details reveal an image reflected in water. The body of the guitar is a forest while the neck of the guitar builds into the Toronto skyline, complete with the CN Tower. Why did you pick that design?

Mendes: The thought behind the tattoo is from the city to home — where I'm working (in Toronto) to home (in Pickering, Ont.).

CP: Between the images of Toronto and Pickering there's what looks like a sound wave. What's that about?

Mendes: It's actually a custom sound wave of my parents and my sister saying "I love you." They recorded it. So (the tattoo illustrates that) I'm always connected to my parents and my sister. There's quite a bit of meaning in it. It's been a year now thinking about it. Last year I came up with the idea.

CP: Your new single "Treat You Better" arrived last month, so the new album must be nearly ready. What's the latest?

Mendes: The album is pretty much finished now. The new single "Treat You Better" is great, but that's just a little taste of where all the new music is going. That one is the poppiest song. (The album) is going to be more a soulful vibe — a lot more electric guitar-based. I think it's going to do damage in a good way.

CP: You've mentioned that John Mayer inspired the sound of this album, particularly his 2007 album "Continuum." What do you like most about his music?

Mendes: His lyricism is just unreal, dude. The words me and the songwriters say are: "What would John Mayer say?" (Mayer's) "Continuum" is the album me and my best friends listen to in car rides or whenever we're hanging out. It's that well-rounded album that I know me and my friends can put on and no one's ever going to be angry about it. (It) always makes me so nostalgic and feel good when I'm home. I wanted to (make) an album like that (which) kind of created friendships and bonds between people. John Mayer did that really well.

CP: When did you discover this adoration for Mayer?

Mendes: For the past three years I've been obsessed with John Mayer music-wise. One of the first times we wrote (for the album) I was like, "I want to write a song that gives me the same feeling (his song) 'Gravity' gives me." But I'm still a pop singer-songwriter at the end of the day so you'll hear the pop melodies in there for sure.

CP: He's certainly one of those artists that, especially early in his career, captured that nostalgia for high school and young love.

Mendes: I think that's really important because your teenage years are where everything starts to fall into place and you have all these "A-ha!" moments. I just wanted to put across all the inspiration and all the eye-opening experiences that I'm having in the best way.

— This interview has been edited and condensed.

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News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
The Canadian Press

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