Youth
by Shawn Mendes (featuring Khalid)

Album: Shawn Mendes (2018)
Charted: 35 65

Songfacts®:

  • This Khalid-featuring track was written by Shawn Mendes along with his usual collaborators Scott Harris, Geoff Warburton, and Teddy Geiger. In addition to co-penning the song, Shawn also co-produced it with Australian producer Joel Little, who also teamed up with Khalid on his "Young, Dumb and Broke" single.
  • The triumphant song draws inspiration from a pair of terrorist atrocities in the UK: The May 2017 Manchester bombing that killed 22 concertgoers outside of an Ariana Grande show and the London Bridge attack two months previously. Shawn was deeply affected by the tragedies and penned this tune about how he and other young people react to such harrowing events.

    "It's the most important song on the album," he told 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," Shawn added. "So I wrote a song about our youth, a feeling that can't be taken away from us."
  • The song's message is despite the efforts of horrible people, hate won't win.

    Pain but I won't let it turn into hate
    I won't let it change me
    You can't take my youth away


    Mendes said: "The reality is it's a song that becomes more relevant in the world today."
  • Shawn Mendes previewed the track at a secret listening session in front of 15 superfans. "I love this idea of 'youth' - not our age, not us being young, but that thing that's inside of us that makes us think the world is amazing," he told the fans. "You know, that childish lens that makes you wake up and think you can do anything. And anytime one of these events happens, one of these horrific things happen, that youth gets pulled away from us a little bit more."
  • The Anthony Mandler-directed seven-and-a-half-minute video stars both Mendes and Khalid as well as a diverse selection of over 30 different inspiring young people showing off their talents. Mendes explained that he and Khalid decided to give the group of extraordinary kids a platform on the clip in order that other young people might be inspired to pursue the things they love.

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