It only took Shawn Mendes a year to bring his big dreams to reality. The Canadian singer, who turned 16 earlier this month, is now one of the hottest young musicians thanks in large part to a short snippet of him covering Justin Bieber which he posted on Vine last year.
The 6-second clip caught the attention of thousands and Mendes turned into a new internet sensation in just hours. "I kept refreshing, and was like, 'What's going on? Why do I have all these followers?' It just didn't make sense," he told U.K.'s DigitalSpy in a recent interview, recalling how he reacted when he found out the number of his Vine followers increased drastically after he posted the cover.
Some major labels then expressed their interest in signing Mendes. "I remember we were in the car and we had an email from Warner Brothers. My manager worked at Warner at the time and he was asking me to come down and meet people from Island Records and Universal," the teen continued. "I said to my mum, 'Isn't that a record label?' And she said, 'I think we just got an email from a record label Shawn, this is insane!' We were in the car freaking out - it was really funny."
Mendes eventually joined Island Records and released his debut single "Life of the Party" earlier this year. The track was received well by fans and it last month debuted at No. 24 on Billboard 100. It appears in the star's debut EP, "The Shawn Mendes", that opened at Billboard 200's No. 5 and has reached top 10 on iTunes charts in several countries.
To follow up the set, Mendes is planning a full-length that he'll start working on later this year. Songwriter Julian Bunetta, who's worked multiple times with One Direction, has already been enlisted for the album.
Mendes has said that he'll be heavily involved in the making of the LP. "It's my sense that's what my fans want and they can see it," he explained. "I'm sure they can feel when it's not me and when it is me, and even if I'm cutting a track, I sing it the way I'd like it to sound."
Mendes is currently serving as the opening act on Austin Mahone's ongoing tour. Of being young and famous, he said, "There are times when I'm super overwhelmed and everything feels like it's hitting me in the face at once, but I think what's keeping me calm, and who I am by staying true to myself, is my whole family being so supportive and keeping me grounded. They treat me the exact same way they treated me years and years ago."