Shawn Mendes has been collaborating with songwriter and producer Teddy Geiger since before we knew Mendes as the guitar-wielding pop star topping the charts, but besides the clear songwriting spark they have, it is their loyal friendship that stands out.
With 11 of the songs featured on Mendes’ self-titled album written and produced in part by Geiger, you could say they’ve grown pretty close since they first worked together on “Stitches,” but the way Mendes talks about his friend and collaborator proves it. Mendes clearly thinks the world of Geiger. “It was a serious, serious connection – deeper than a songwriter – and from then on, I decided she has to be a part of everything I do,” the singer told The New York Times.
In the profile for The NYT, Geiger reveals some of the highs and lows of her music career and transition. Starting when she was offered a record deal at 16 years old, Geiger experienced success, acclaim, anxiety, burnout, and disillusionment before most people finish a college. It wasn’t until she returned to the music industry in the last few years that she experienced the freedom as an artist that she had always wanted. Now, she is one of the most prominent producers and songwriters in pop.
Last October, Geiger announced to her fans on Instagram that she was transitioning. Met with the overwhelming support of her fans, Mendes was right there expressing his unwavering support as well. Showing what it means to be a true friend and ally, Mendes spoke publicly about how the best thing someone can do is to “support and love and be there however you can.”
Mendes recalled the time he first unconsciously referred to Teddy as “she” in conversation. Geiger stopped what she was doing and “looked at me with an overwhelming amount of happiness and joy beaming out of her eyes,” he told The NYT. Mendes said that’s when it all clicked for him. “For everybody that ever questions why people may choose to transition, if they had a best friend or somebody they loved dearly look at them the way Teddy looked at me in that moment, they would no longer question it.”
Geiger and Mendes’ friendship is aspirational. These are the collaborations we should be celebrating in the music industry. Geiger feels free to be her true self without reservation, and Mendes not only supports her choice but champions her as a person and as an artist.