A new era begins! Shawn Mendes debuted a never-before-heard track during an Austin concert after opening up about his split from Camila Cabello.
The Canadian crooner, 23, took the Moody Amphitheater stage for the Samsung + Billboard Concert Series at SXSW on Saturday, March 19, and introduced a new song titled “When You’re Gone.” Eagle-eyed fans noticed the unreleased track on Mendes’ setlist when he shared a backstage photo via Twitter before the show.
“Shawn’s new song got me crying,” one social media user tweeted on Saturday alongside a clip of the performance.
In the video, Mendes gripped the mic while wearing a white undershirt and dark jeans. “It’s hard for me to let go of you / So I’m just trying to hold on, hold on,” he sang as the melody picked up. “I don’t wanna know what it’s like when you’re gone.”
Another fan noted that “the crowd was into” the new song, which was saved for the end of Mendes’ set. The concert also featured “It’ll Be Okay,” a December 2021 single that was released shortly after news broke of Mendes’ breakup.
The “In My Blood” artist and Cabello, 25, dated for more than two years before announcing in November 2021 that they had called it quits. At the time, a source exclusively told Us Weekly that the pair “still have a ton of love and respect for each other” despite the end of their relationship.
“At this point, they’ve decided they need a break from each other to evaluate where each of them are at. They’re not saying never, just not now,” the insider added. “It does hurt, but they’re both certain this is for the best.”
According to the source, dating in the spotlight “became overwhelming” for the duo, who were frequently “getting grilled” about their future and “whether or not they were going to get engaged.”
Both Mendes and the former Fifth Harmony member dropped songs in the wake of their breakup that seemed to hint at a romance gone wrong. Earlier this month, Cabello discussed the pair’s split publicly for the first time, telling Apple Music’s Zane Lowe that she felt a “shift” in her priorities.
“Those years that we were dating … even while I was writing this album and even still now, I guess my focus is really on, ‘How can I be a well-rounded person?'” she said in the March 3 interview while promoting her single “Bam Bam.”
Though the Cinderella actress explained that sometimes “things change and things take really unexpected turns,” she emphasized that she feels “literally nothing but love” for her ex.
Mendes, for his part, recently told Billboard that when it comes to the heightened scrutiny surrounding his love life, “I honestly don’t care.” In a video shared via Twitter on Friday, March 18, the songwriter opened up about starting fresh.
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“It’s like, ‘Oh, I’m on my own now,'” the “Stitches” singer said. “You don’t realize all the s–t that comes after [a breakup].”
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