Shawn Mendes & Khalid’s “Youth” Is A Resilient Anthem

Mike Nied | May 3, 2018 1:32 pm
Shawn's Arty 'In My Blood' Video
Shawn Mendes weathers the elements in his conceptual 'In My Blood' video.

Shawn Mendes and Khalid make a statement on their newly unveiled duet, “Youth.” The twosome recorded the anthem for inclusion on Shawn’s self-titled album, out later this month. Released today (May 3), it is a commentary on the resilience of humanity in the face of tragedy. With writing assistance from Scott Harris, Geoff Warburton and Teddy Geiger and a production credit for Joel Little, this is one of the 19-year-old’s most ambitious tracks yet. Acting as both a co-writer and co-producer, he and his collaborator deliver a powerful message over a stripped back production.

“Waking up to headlines filled with devastation again. My heart is broken, but I keep going,” Shawn proclaims over gentle strings. Trading off lines with Khalid, the twosome find an easy chemistry. Their voices blend well together, and they push one another to unexpected heights. They hit their stride as they move into the chorus and respond to the horrors around them with a defiant message of resilience. “You can’t take my youth away. This soul of mine will never break. As long as I wake up today, you can’t take my youth away.”

In an interview with Zane Lowe on Beats 1, Shawn opened up about the track and collaborating with Khalid. He revealed it was written as a response to the terrorist attacks in Manchester and London last year. In the aftermath of the attacks, the “Stitches” crooner reached out to set up the studio session. “And I remember that day thinking like, ‘OK, I gotta text him.’ When I texted him, I said when we get together, we have to make a statement. We have to move. We have to write about what’s going on in life and how the youth is feeling because I think we have the voice to do that.”

The hitmaker further explained that the concept of youth extended beyond an actual age. “I remember I woke up in the morning and the whole thought of my youth trying to be taken away from me… not youth as in my age, youth as in my love, my happiness, my joy, my purity. It’s not even about age, you could be 50 and your youth is there, it’s in you. And all of these horrible things happening in the world, all of the headlines, it felt like every day it was just being pulled more and more out of us. And I was like this is what we have to write about. And it was awesome. I’m really, really proud of that song.”

“Youth” joins the previously released tracks “In My Blood” and “Lost In Japan” on Shawn’s forthcoming album, and it is another promising release. At the rate things are going, this is shaping up to be one of the most promising LPs of 2018. Check out the lyric video below.

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