Life of the Party

Album: The Shawn Mendes EP (2014)
Charted: 24
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  • Toronto, Canada singer Shawn Mendes first gained acclaim at the age of 14 when he started posting cover videos on the sharing service Vine and picked up millions of views and followers in a matter of months. He released this ballad as his debut single after signing with Island Records.
  • The song entered the Hot 100 at #24 in its first week. "I think the reason it might be sticking is because it's so relatable for teenagers," Shawn commented to Billboard magazine. "Lots of teenagers are finding it hard to figure out who they want to be, and this song really pushes it into your head that you're gonna be awesome who you are."
  • This was written by Ido Zmishlany and Scott Harris. The pair are Long Island-based musicians; Zmishlany was formerly in a band called Lion of Ido.

    In our interview with Ido Zmishlany, he revealed that he originally created a track that was upbeat for the song. Both he and Harris felt that something was not right and that the fast tempo did not match the name of the tune. So they returned to how the song first came to life and made it piano-based, "We thought that the title, 'Life of the Party,' could actually fit a song that was more like a piano ballad. It's an interesting juxtaposition."

    Zmishlany and Harris worked back and forth on perfecting the song and fixed the lyrics multiple times. "There were a couple of more lyrics that didn't make the cut. The second verse got cut in half so there's a whole other verse that exists on my computer and not in reality," revealed Zmishlany.
  • Zmishlany shared with us what motivated him to write the tune: "The vision I had the entire time for that song was of a 16-year-old girl sitting on a couch at a party in the middle of it." He continued about the inspirational anthem, "I just thought of her and what she needed to hear and what I felt I needed to say to her."
  • Mendes explained the song's meaning to MTV UK: "The song is basically about loving who you are as an individual," he said. "Lots of teenagers and people have trouble figuring out who they want to be, and we go through this stage where you feel like you don't really belong, like quite uncomfortable. 'Life Of The Party' is just saying, 'Don't freak out if you feel like you're different, love who you are'. It's a pretty cool, empowering song."
  • Scott Harris explained to Songwriter Universe how this tune stands out as a pivotal moment to him. "It was a song I was really proud of and felt like a good representation of what I could do," he said. "It went #1 on iTunes overnight and I knew people were hearing something I was psyched on."
  • The song debuted at #24 on the Hot 100 when Shawn was just 15, making him the youngest artist ever to debut in the chart's Top 25 with their first entry on the tally.
  • The video was directed by Jon Jon Augustavo, who was also the man behind the lens on Shawn's "Something Big" clip. Set in a dimly lit party, the visual features cameos by some of the singer's famous Vine friends, including Nash Grier, Aaron Carpenter and Jack Johnson and Jack Gilinsky. "We took our time releasing a video for this song because we wanted it to be perfect," Shawn told MTV News. "The video took multiple shoots over multiple months to get everyone in the same place to execute, and was at one point entirely re-shot to get right."
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