Shawn Mendes is 15 years old and lives in Toronto. He's been posting six-second clips of himself singing on Vine since the fall of 2013. Sunday night, Shawn Mendes released his debut EP on iTunes. It jumped to number one 37 minutes later.
Vine — the micro-video app that allows users to post just six second clips — got Shawn a record deal. Actually, people "liking" Sean's Vine got him a record deal. From Mashable:
"I posted a six-second clip of me singing 'As Long As You Love Me' by Justin Bieber in August and it was an overnight sort of explosion," Mendes told Mashable this month in New York City. "When I woke up and I had 10,000 likes on that video, I was like, 'What is going on?' Social media is taking off. It's an entire new world out there."
Writing for the New York Times, Jon Caramanica reviews Sean Mendes's new EP, calling the singer "a not-quite-formed talent who thinks vibrato makes him sound serious and falsetto makes him sound irresistible"; he calls the single, "Life of the Party," " depressing and dull." Guess what? It doesn't really matter: In an age when no one seems to want to pay for music, Shawn's fans — prompted by him saying "Let's get this bad boy to No. 1" during a live stream appearance and also urging viewers to tweet "#ShawnToNumber1" — put their money where their crushes were. (Surely it helps that the EP is a highly affordable $3.99) He's got 1.5 million Twitter followers, almost 3 million followers on Vine, and, as Business Insider points out, Shawn's EP — which contains a mere FOUR (4) tracks — has been reviewed 2,149 times — with 1,943 of those reviews giving a five-star rating.
Neither Mashable, the Times nor Business Insider note that Shawn's audience is mainly young women. A group that keeps on proving itself a force to be reckoned with, whether it's Twilight/Divergent/Hunger Games movie tickets, the One Direction juggernaut, or the fact that the album from 5 Seconds of Summer debuted at number 2 on the Billboard charts. Don't underestimate the power of a passionate pack of teenage girls.