Monster

Album: Wonder (2020)
Charted: 9 8
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Songfacts®:

  • Shawn Mendes recorded this melancholy tale about the dark side of celebrity with his fellow Canadian Justin Bieber. It finds the pair reflecting on making mistakes in the public eye and how they are seen as "monsters" when they do something wrong.
  • This moody duet is the first collaboration between the pair. Mendes and Bieber's friendship, which started during the summer of 2020, was first made public when videos of the two artists jamming around a piano with Tori Kelly were posted in July 2020.

    Mendes already had this song in his back pocket before Bieber jumped on it. Speaking to Zane Lowe on Apple Music, he explained he "was listening to it one day" shortly after he'd got to know Bieber. Knowing his new pal had plenty of experience concerning the perils of life in the music industry, he called him and said, "Look, I have this song. It's kind of going there."

    Mendes continued: "It's about how society puts celebrities up on a pedestal and watches them fall, and it seems to be entertainment. His heart fell deep into it."
  • Mendes released the song on November 20, 2020, five weeks after Bieber dropped "Lonely," a ballad where he recalls the criticism he received for his slip-ups when he was a teenager.
  • Shawn Mendes and Justin Bieber wrote the smooth pop and R&B-influenced tune with:

    Toronto-based singer-songwriter Daniel Caesar, who is best known for his 2016 single "Get You."

    Canadian producer Frank Dukes, who also helmed the track. He has credits on hit songs by the likes of Camila Cabello ("Havana"), Post Malone ("Wow" and "Circles") and The Weeknd ("Alone Again").

    Toronto singer-songwriter Mustafa the Poet, who co-wrote The Weeknd's Starboy track "Attention," and Camila Cabello's Camila song "She Loves Control."
  • Colin Tilley directed the video, which begins with Mendes walking in the fog. He climbs a large white platform and is met at the top by Bieber. Lightning flashes as the pair ponder what human errors they'll make that will cause them to fall off the pedestal.
  • Justin Bieber and Shawn Mendes opened the AMAs 2020 with the first ever live performance of "Monster." Bieber also performed a soulful medley of his solo songs "Lonely" and "Holy."
  • Shawn Mendes wrote the song back in 2017 during a time when he was feeling pressured about relationships and thought the industry was trying to push him into a box. He listened back to it three years later and thought it was appropriate for the times. He told Entertainment Tonight: "It makes me think of every single person who has Instagram or Twitter and every single person who is checking their Instagram every five minutes to see if people approve of the last thing they posted."

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