Shawn Mendes’ new song Youth was inspired by his feelings after the terrorist attack at Ariana Grande’s gig in Manchester, England.
Mendes, 19, was performing in Germany on the night last May (17) when 22 people died after a man detonated an explosive device in the foyer of Manchester Arena.
He was deeply affected by the tragedy, which followed another vicious attack in London two months before, and Youth, a track on his new record Shawn Mendes: The Album, is about how he and other young people react to such harrowing events.
“It’s the most important song on the album,” he tells Britain’s Daily Star newspaper. “I was touring around Europe when the events of Manchester and London happened, it was very overwhelming.
“I wanted to write something about it but it had to be about the feeling for us as a generation when one of these things happens. So I wrote a song about our youth, a feeling that can’t be taken away from us.”
The song includes the lyrics, “Pain but I won’t let it turn into hate/ I won’t let it change me/ You can’t take my youth away.”
Shawn is incredibly proud of the track, as he adds, “The reality is it’s a song that becomes more relevant in the world today. I have a 14-year-old sister who is my worst critic and she loves it.”
Ariana earned praise from across the music industry and world for her response to the heartbreaking events that took place at her gig. She returned to Manchester just two weeks later to perform at a huge charity concert for the victims’ families which, alongside other charitable efforts, helped raise more than $13 million (£10 million) for the victims’ fund.
The 24-year-old released her first new music since the attack earlier this month – a track called No Tears Left to Cry, which alludes to the tragedy.