The two announced that they’re dropping a song on November 20, and teased the upcoming collaboration by first teasing each other. Silly Canucks.
As a lead up to the announcement, Bieber resurfaced an infamous clip of him from 2015. While promoting his song "What Do You Mean?” off of Purpose, Mendes was just beginning to come on the scene and climb the chartswith "Stitches." A radio DJ asked Bieber about fellow Canadian Mendes, who similar to him was coming into fame at a young age, and Bieber had no idea Mendes was. (Apparently, they became friends the years following that incident, but grew much closer in the last three months).
Bieber tweeted the clip and wrote "Who's @ShawnMendes?", to which Mendes responded with a photo of himself and actor Jacob Tremblay (who played a young Bieber in the "Lonely" music video) and wrote, “You don’t remember us taking this pic together?”
Though they happily troll and poke fun at each other, the subject of "Monster" is much more serious. “It’s about how society can put celebrities up on a pedestal and watch them fall, and it seems to be this entertainment thing,” Mendes explained to Apple Music’s Zane Lowe. “[Bieber’s] heart fell deep into it.”
This collaboration is a big deal for Mendes, as he looked up to Bieber growing up. He was only nine when Bieber released "One Time" and quickly became a pop sensation.
“He was Elvis to me,” Mendes continued. “To come back around and have this very human conversation with him…it feels like one of the most special songs I’ve ever wrote."