Mendes’ ‘Youth’ anthem for modern generation

Kaitlin Clark, Entertainment Editor

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Shawn Mendes has never been one to shy away from addressing heavy topics in his songs, and his new single “Youth” makes this more apparent than ever.

Canadian singer-songwriter Shawn Mendes released “Youth” on May 03, featuring singer-songwriter Khalid. The song was inspired by the 2017 London Bridge Attack and Manchester Bombing. “Youth” begins with an acoustic guitar line and Khalid’s vocals, but Mendes soon makes his appearance, singing about how much it can hurt seeing violence and destruction while being unable to do anything. He soon becomes optimistic, singing about how pain can’t be allowed to turn into hate, and how it is important to stand up and remain hopeful as long as you are still alive.

At its heart, “Youth” is about the younger generations finding their voices and creating change, refusing to become complacent with the wrongdoings of the world. In unison, Khalid and Mendes even sing, “This soul of mine will never break.” It is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit.

While the song’s origins come from a reaction to gun violence, its message is in regard to all forms of violence and hate. To see a song preach about resilience and hope in the face of violence is uplifting.

Mendes’ style has changed greatly since the beginning of his career. He originally began with traditional pop style songs that talked about love and longing, but as his career progressed, his messages changed as he discussed anxiety, doubt and now violence in his newest music.

In addition to his latest released singles, Mendes is releasing a full album on May 25 titled “Shawn Mendes The Album,” which, if his already released new work is indicative of anything, will be a hit.

“Youth” is a song that needed to be written. It expresses so many of the feelings that young people feel today in regards to violence, activism and learning how to cope with it all. It is hopeful and encouraging as Mendes makes one thing clear: we all must keep moving forward, fighting to protect our hope.


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Mendes’ ‘Youth’ anthem for modern generation