Shawn Mendes Covers Billboard Magazine & Opens Up About Dating, Growing Up & More

shawnmendes-billboardmagazine-082516Shawn Mendes is looking good on the cover of Billboard and inside the pages he’s getting candid about his music and love life.

Shawn found fame thanks to social media and when asked of if he ever gets tired of being in the spotlight, he said it’s something he struggles with “every day.” He shared, “a week ago, I lost my voice completely, and I was in tears. I was on the phone with my parents and screaming at my manager like, ‘How could we do this?’ And then last night I was onstage thinking, ‘I’m a rock star.’ I’ve never been so happy and excited and at the top of wherever I could be, on cloud nine. But I’ve also never been so deep in the ground ­thinking, ‘I can’t breathe,’ in my entire life.”

When it comes to his music, he sees himself as more of a tortured soul. “The greatest [artists] are tortured souls. I’m not calling myself great. I’m tortured because I care. I’m always upset about not doing things as good as I think I could have because I care.”

While Shawn is usually pretty tight-lipped on his love life, he did share that it influences his music heavily but he finds it hard to date. “The second I feel about a girl the way I feel about music is when I know,” he shared. “Being a sex ­symbol isn’t cool unless you’re in love with a girl and she calls you a sex symbol.” As for actual sex, now that he’s famous, he claims it’s “impossible.” His song “Patience” “is about a girl older than me who I hooked up with, but the next day was so scared because of how young I was. I have a sore spot for older people who are weird around younger people.”

Shawn is also sticking up for fellow popstar Justin Bieber who has had a lots of ups and downs in his career. “I don’t mean to bring Justin into things,” he told Billboard. “[But] people thought of him as a type of person. But maybe he was the same person the whole time and you guys just didn’t give him a chance to show you who he was. Stop ­looking at him in a ­negative view and accept him as who he is. We don’t get mad at punk rock bands for doing shit like [he does], because that’s their personality. I just find it very confusing.”

We love how open and honest Shawn is in this interview and we cannot wait to hear his new album Illuminate on September 23. For more of his cover story, visit billboard.com.

Photo: Billboard