Shawn Mendes has written plenty of love songs about his girlfriend, but one of his new tracks might be the most personal yet. While speaking with Elton John for VMan magazine, Mendes got real about his fear of losing Camila Cabello, revealing that he wrote a song exploring those fears for his fourth studio album, Wonder. The song, "Can't Imagine," is the final track on the record — which will be released on Dec. 4 — and Mendes explained it was one of the most forthright tracks he's ever written.
"I was going through this whole thing of like, 'It's going to be okay. If it all goes away, it'll be okay. But if I lose my girlfriend, I don't know if I'll be okay.' That's where 'Can't Imagine' spawned from," the singer revealed. He also explained that the track includes bits of him stumbling over his words while laying down the melody for the first time, something he chose to keep in the song because of "the magic inside of it." Of course, "Can't Imagine" isn't the only song Cabello inspired on Wonder; after spending quarantine with the "Señorita" singer and her family in Miami, he's been able to open up about things he's never shared before.
"I have my first real girlfriend — my first time ever truly being in love — and I moved in with her parents in Miami," he said. "I think, for me, I've felt like I've been in a bubble for quite a long time, where I've been very afraid to speak about things that I feel really passionate about. When I was able to sit and let my world stop spinning and come still, this stillness came over me and I realized, you know, when it comes to matters of the heart, we don't need to be experts."
This is far from the first time that Mendes has spoken about the impact Cabello has had on his music. In the trailer for his upcoming Netflix documentary, In Wonder, the singer admitted that every love song he's ever written has, in some way, been about her. "My song comes on the radio or something and I'm like, 'Everything's about you. They're all, they have always been about you,'" he said.
In an October interview with Radio.com, Mendes explained that a lot of the vulnerable lyrics on the title track were inspired by him recognizing how his "ego" was impacting their relationship. "I thought that I was a pretty open, emotional guy until I started being in a relationship with someone that I really, truly love," he said, adding that he never wanted to let Cabello see him in any sort of pain or emotional distress. "Like I want to be the man, and I want to be strong in this relationship." Ultimately, Mendes realized that this attitude was doing more hard than good, adding that "real strength does lie inside of being emotional and being vulnerable."
The pop star also praised the former Fifth Harmony member as a "champion for this album" during an appearance on SiriusXM's The Morning Mash Up. "I remember back when I first started a lot of the concepts and they felt a little bit intimidating," he recalled. "She was like, 'Go, keep going, keep going.'"
While speaking with SiriusXM's The Pulse in September, Mendes said that Cabello deserved credit for her help with Wonder. "I don't know if she's credited all over the album, but she should be because there was nobody during that time that was giving me more advice and encouragement to just stick to the way I felt about the music that I wanted to make," he said. After all of her support and encouragement, it's no wonder that Mendes has promised his fans that they will be getting "lotssss of love songs for Camila" on his new record.