Music

Shawn Mendes has Taylor Swift to thank for perfect stage shows

by WENN November 19th, 2018, 9:59 am

WENN

Shawn Mendes has publicly thanked Taylor Swift for helping him get over his stage nerves as he opened for her on the 1989 Tour.

The young Canadian confided in the headliner that he was terrified about failing in front of her and her fans, and she offered up some sage advice which turned his career around.

"She said to me one day, 'Are you nervous?' and, I got nervous just because she's Taylor Swift," he tells Billboard. "My face would get red every time! I said, "Yes, I just don't want to mess up'.

"She goes, 'Everybody in the audience is there to have fun and support you. Nobody is there to judge. It's not a TV show where they're judging you'.

"From that moment, I really learned what it means to be a performer and it wasn't about being perfect – it was about enjoying it. Because you watch someone on stage and whatever they're doing, if they're really enjoying themselves, so are you. She went onstage every night to have fun, to enjoy and to be in happiness because that's what the live show is about. It wasn't about being perfect. She's perfect anyway, but that was the biggest thing I learned from her."

Now, over three years later, Shawn is a headliner, but he admits he still battle anxiety at times, especially when his schedule becomes a little overwhelming.

Mendes, who opened up his mental illness battles in the song In My Blood, explains his longtime manager, Andrew Gertler, has helped keep panic attacks to a minimum.

"The big thing for me (was) every time I felt overwhelmed and didn't tell Andrew, I got deeper into this hole. So, now every time I have even a small amount of that overwhelming (feeling), I tell him immediately, because if you're not solving the problem the second it starts, you're going to create this massive, massive thing.

"I found that the less I would give out and explain how I was feeling, all of sudden Andrew would ask me to sign 10 posters and I would stress over it. (When) I started to explain how I felt and tackle all these things, I could sign 10 posters and do 10 shows and it would be no problem."

And Gertler, who discovered Shawn when he was an Internet sensation, admits he always takes time to have a "serious conversation" with his star.

"We had one of those recently, where we were about to set a booking up in January and he just said, 'It's too much, OK'," Gertler recalls, explaining he quickly made some schedule adjustments and gave Mendes the holidays off.

Shawn, 20, was named Live Music Artist of the Year at the Billboard Live Music Summit and Awards in Los Angeles last week.

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