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In just three short years, Toronto singer Shawn Mendes has gone from uploading covers of Taylor Swift songs on Vine to opening for Swift on her 1989 Tour. Dropping his debut album Handwritten last year, Mendes is now a three-time iHeartRadio MMVA winner.
Mendes used the iHeartRadio MMVA stage this past June to make the debut broadcast performance of “Treat You Better,” the lead single from his upcoming sophomore album, Illuminate.
Mendes began teasing the new video for “Treat You Better” this week, performing the song on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and posting clips from the video on his Instagram page.
In the new video just released today, a young woman is caught in a violent relationship with a partner whose dangerous lifestyle and temper has her looking for an escape. Mendes plays the other man in love with the young girl, though it appears the two never meet.
“Treat You Better” is a large jump from the Toronto singer’s previous visuals, with a buff, shirtless Mendes appearing in a video showing domestic violence a sharp 180 from his bubbly, parade music video for “Something Big.”
The new single has Mendes shifting from the lovesick crooner that fans fell for in Handwritten into a more mature artist, both lyrically and musically. Similar in style and tone to Rihanna and Calvin Harris’ 2011 video for “We Found Love,” “Treat You Better” closes with a information for a domestic violence helpline.
In addition to today’s video, Mendes released the track “Ruin” yesterday, which is also set to appear on his new record.
Shawn Mendes’ Illuminate is set to be released on September 23.