“I haven’t seen [Camila Cabello] actually in like a month and two weeks, not that I’m counting,” Shawn Mendes said when talking SiriusXM’s Nicole Ryan during the Oct. 2 episode of SiriusXM’s The Morning Mashup on SiriusXM Hits 1. Nicole and Shawn, 22, discussed 23-year-old Camila’s reaction to his new “Wonder” single, and he couldn’t help but gush over her. “I think it’s interesting ’cause when your girlfriend is an insanely talented, real musician who writes her own music, it’s scary to write an album around her. And she was with me when I was kind of in the studio doing it.
“I realized the trick is like, show her the really rough demo version from your phone that you recorded, and if she doesn’t like that, she’ll tell you, then don’t wait to show her the mixed finished product,” said Shawn. “Because if she doesn’t like it then, then you’re kind of, ‘I don’t know what to say to you. I’m sorry.’”
Thankfully, that was not the case, and Shawn said that Camila not only loved what she heard, but she was also his biggest cheerleader during the recording process. “She really was a champion for this album,” he said, “and I remember back when I first started a lot of the concepts, and they felt a little bit intimidating. She was like, ‘Go, keep going, keep going.’ And she would do this thing like once a month, ‘Hey, just a reminder, this concept you’re on is incredible. It’s going to make people feel something really special. Don’t stop. Don’t stop. Don’t stop.’ And it was this force of energy that I think was really helpful to keep me on a real cohesive [path].”
“ ‘Cause I think what happens is when you go to write an album,” continued Shawn, “you start writing something, and then you start worrying about what people think. And you start thinking about expectations. You start thinking about reactions, and then you start changing your album. But if you want a world and you want an essence, and you want people to feel a certain way, you have to decide and make it and finish it and let it breathe in the world and hope for the best because I guess that’s all you can do. And this is the first time I really felt that I’ve done that with an album. So, I hope you guys feel that too, when you end up listening front to back, if you decide to.”
Shawn also said that Camila was “definitely one of the first people he played “Wonder” to. “Camila was a part of the whole process,” he said. “So, she was around as I was writing it conceptually. It’s funny ’cause there was like a real time when she was doing her thing, and then I was doing my thing, and we were together, but like, also working separately and the quarantine brought us together, and now we’ve kind of become one, where we’re doing our thing. And it’s really interesting how that dynamic changes when, especially when your girlfriend’s a writer and a musician and she’s incredible, you have two options. You can be really scared and intimidated, or you can be like, ‘Oh, I should probably ask you for some help or like what you think.’”
“I don’t know if she’s credited all over the album,” added Shawn, “but she should be because there was nobody during the time that was giving me more advice and encouragement to just stick to the way I felt about the music that I wanted to make, you know?”
Shawn Mendes’ Wonder will be released on Dec. 4. The title track and video are out now.