Shawn Mendes Before He Was Famous

Before They Were Famous

Shawn Mendes Before He Was Famous

BEFORE Shawn Mendes would become the opening act for Taylor Swift on the North American leg of her 1989 tour.

BEFORE Shawn Mendes would be globally billed as the next Justin Beiber.

BEFORE Justin would coyly say in a radio interview, ‘who is Shawn Mendes?’

BEFORE Shawn had millions of die hard fans on Facebook, Vine, Instagram and Twitter.

Pine Ridge Secondary School in Pickering Ontario

Shawn Mendes was a student at Pine Ridge Secondary School in Pickering, Ontario – not yet even in high school when he blew up. Previous to this he was a regular kid who played ice hockey, soccer and enjoyed long-boarding with his pals. In June 2012 Vine was launched and in August Shawn uploaded a clip of himself singing an acoustic version of Bieber’s ‘As Long as You Love Me’ just for the heck of it. When he logged on to his account the next morning, it had 10,000 likes and his follower count had gone through the roof!

Surprisingly a few of you guys did ask for this one – this kid is blowing up! Next video we get back to rap and hip hop, so sit tight and enjoy this one, also be sure to let me know who to document next.


Shawn Mendes was born Aug 8 1998 in Pickering, Ontario Canada, in a town located an hour outside of Downtown Toronto.

Karen & Manuel Mendes

He is the son of Karen, a real estate agent, and Manuel Mendes, a businessman, selling bar and restaurant supplies in Toronto. His father is of Portuguese descent and his mother is English.

Shawn got started in music in elementary school where he gave it a go and got a fantastic response from fellow students, so he was motivated to keep pushing forward.


He also got his hands on a guitar and taught himself to play by watching tutorial videos on YouTube. He would also pass the time watching others pour out their souls online singing covers of their favorite artists and he wanted to do the same.

Justin Beiber & Ed Sheeran

Many assume he looked up to Justin Beiber but his true music idol is Ed Sheeran.

Outside of music is past times included Xbox gaming, soccer, the mandatory enrollment in ice hockey for Canadian youths and in the summer he would rip it up on a long board. The same friends he had prior to his launch to fame stayed with him during his initial public appearance in Toronto. Bro Code.

Now Shawn states that he had no ambitions of starting a career as a musician or pop idol, he just did it for the passion and sheer enjoyment it gave him. He had posted multiple videos to YouTube but things really took off when he decided to post 6-second video clip to Vine.

He uploaded a clip of himself singing an acoustic version of Bieber’s As Long as You Love Me. When he logged on to his account the next morning, it had 10,000 likes – from there word spread and a legion of female fans around the world were thirsty for more.

For the next year he upped his production and began posting more regularly on both Vine and YouTube, the numbers grew quickly, the support mind boggling and he realized that he had stumbled upon a life-changing opportunity and continued to press forward.

Say Something Cover

It was Andrew Gertler from Universal Music Group Island Records who discovered a Mendes cover of A Great Big World’s Say Something online and in November of 2013 he forwarded the link to Ziggy Chareton, Island Records’s head of A&R.

Looking at Shawn’s growing numbers, they knew they had found a superstar in the making and got in contact with him quickly then flown out to New York City where he signed a record deal with Island’s president, David Massey.

A dream come true for most! From there he got to work.

Life of a Party

His first single in 2014, “Life of the Party,” made it onto the Billboard top 25, making him the youngest artist to ever do so with a debut single and the song went Platinum.


In July 2014, he then released his first album “Handwritten,” which went on to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200. Justin Bieber had been the last artist to accomplish this back in 2010. Then Shawn Mendes’s next song, “Stitches,” was a home run hit – even an old fart like me is enjoying it.

He picked up a ton of awards and he’s picking up where Justin left off – showing the world that Canadian kids are just as sweet as humanly possible.

And the rest of the story, well you know the story, because this is Before They Were Famous. Watch the video for the full scoop.


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