Shawn Mendes learned more than just how to do the laundry during quarantine. The “Wonder” singer caught up with Ryan Seacrest on-air on Friday, October 2, and shared how journaling during quarantine, locked down in Miami with girlfriend Camila Cabello and her family, led to his forthcoming album Wonder and also made their relationship stronger than ever.
“I went in to start making the album and then in a couple weeks we went into a lockdown,” Mendes recalled. “… I moved to Miami and I was living with Camila and her family and I was basically all of a sudden learning how to make dinner and do laundry for the first time which sounds really stupid, but if you’ve been touring since you were 15, that is a part of life you’ve been missing out of.”
The 22-year-old added that part of it was “actually really nice,” but he was understandably also stressed and in a “complete panic” like the rest of the world.
“[I was] like how on earth am I going to make this album and how am I going to make these records? And I started to kind of let go a little bit and I was journaling and I started journaling a lot,” he explained. “I’m obsessed with it now. Inside the journal I was writing tons of concepts and one thing that kept coming up was ‘I wonder this’ and ‘I wonder that’ because I guess while everything was happening in the world … a lot of reflecting was happening, you know?”
Mendes shared it was “overwhelming” at first, but once he narrowed down his thoughts, that’s how the single and album title came about.
“That was the beginning of this song and the song really is this stream of consciousness,” he explained. “It’s super layered. … I feel like this is the first time that I kind of learned that you don’t have to be a professional or an expert in matters of the heart to be able to talk about it. … I feel like for the first time I was really writing from this very honest place.”
Given the journal is filled with pages and pages of Mendes’ thoughts and feelings, Seacrest asked what it was like having that prized possession in the household of your girlfriend’s parents.
“I don’t know if I consciously was doing this or unconsciously, but I was purposely just leaving it out in the open,” Mendes admitted. “I really do trust Camila and her family and they’ve now become my second mom and dad and I really was just like it’s going to be fine and if they go into that diary, they’re going to be reading like, ‘Oh, Camila said something that made me angry today,’” he jokingly added. “… I diary about everything. I wouldn’t be stoked if it all of a sudden escaped into someone’s hands.”
As for Camila and Mendes, they couldn’t be better.
“I think that we really learned how to be there for each other because we were dating for some months and it was like we were together, but she was doing her thing and I was doing my thing and doing our best to help each other. … There was definitely a moment in that pandemic where we became doing 'our' thing. And this turned into an 'our thing' and not a 'you thing' and a 'me thing.'”
The duo, who have since squashed rumors of a split, were photographed frequently while getting fresh air amid quarantine, walking and sipping coffee, in what now have become viral photos and videos.
“It’s funny,” Mendes reflected on the pics and videos of them walking painfully slow. “There’s this video of us walking down the street … and we look like zombies. ... We were dying watching it back because in that moment it looks hilarious, … but we were meditating,” he explained. “We were trying to gather our thoughts on what has been an insane year and I think that there’s only so much … you can do before realizing that your No. 1 support system is going to be that person and she really has become that for me and I hope that I’ve been that for her.”
Listen back to the full interview in the audio above and click here to stream “Wonder" and watch the dreamy, explosive new video from Mendes.