It’s not every day that we’re graced with an incredible, powerful duet.
Around 11PM EST on November 17th, the world was given a small, but wonderful gift: “I Know What You Did Last Summer”. The two young artists behind it are well-loved, and immensely talented. They go by the names of Camila Cabello, who’s 1/5 of Billboard’s “Group of the Year” for women in music (aka, Fifth Harmony), and Shawn Mendes.
The song was originally announced on November 10th, and both Shawn and Camila have been promoting the single ever since.
It all started with Shawn’s initial announcement of a brand new song. It wasn’t known at first that Camila was involved, but it wasn’t kept a secret for long. Within a few minutes of the first tweet, Shawn sent out another message, telling the world that Camila would be featured, and that they wrote the song together. According to Camila, they wrote the song backstage at one of Taylor Swift’s 1989 shows. We were then gifted with the first snippet of the duet.
As soon as the news spread the song was criticized, due to Camila working outside of Fifth Harmony. Camila isn’t the only one to have projects outside of the band though, and it obviously doesn’t mean she’s not loyal to the band (they just recorded #5H2 together). For example, Normani Kordei had her own solo project. She didn’t sing, but she showed off her mad dance skills to the songs ‘Commas‘ and ‘Do Not Disturb‘, both by Sean Bankhead. She was praised, so shouldn’t Camila be praised as well? Both of them are experimenting with new things, and sometimes to do so, you have to branch out.
Everyday after the announcement, Shawn and Camila tweeted hashtags revolving around the single. When users tweeted them, Shawn and Camila released different parts and aspects of the song.
#7DaysTillIKWYDLS was used to unlock another small snippet.
#6DaysTillIKWYDLS gave us part one of the behind-the-scenes action.
#5DaysTillIKWYDLS released another snippet, as well as the cover art. While Shawn still posted them, this was the day tragedy struck in Paris, and the promotion didn’t continue that day out of respect. Camila deleted any tweets she had regarding the single, and both of them sent their prayers.
#4DaysTillIKWYDLS brought us a picture of some of the lyrics, posted on Camila’s Twitter account.
#3DaysTillIKWYDLS Shawn and Camila DMed a few lucky fans with stills from the music video.
#2DaysTillIKWYDLS the two DMed MTV another snippet of the song, and MTV eventually posted it on their Twitter.
#IKWYDLSAtMidnight became their last hashtag before the song’s release. They gave Z100 New York another snippet of the song, and they promised they’d be following fans who tweeted out the hashtag. On top of all that greatness, they decided they’d do a livestream and a Twitter Q&A around 10PM EST to celebrate.
A bit after 10, the livestream began. Camila, in a onesie, and Shawn, not in a onesie, both gave smiles. They both went into questions, before explaining exactly how the song came about. According to Camila, the two just started jamming out, and that’s how the song came to be. Camila called it a “conversational love story”.
The song, according to them, is about one partner cheating on the other, and both of them know it happened. The lyrics go back and forth between Camila and Shawn, who stand as these partners. Throughout the song, they’re trying to get past what happened, but even with that, it’s clear the relationship is falling apart.
If you did watch them, you got to hear them perform just a bit of the song live, just before they logged off.
About 11:10PM EST, the song became available for download. Shawn tweeted out the link, and as soon as he did, the world was able to listen to their duet.
The song is upbeat, even though the message isn’t exactly of that kind. It has a classic Mendes sound to it (which always has a bit of an Ed Sheeran feel to it), but Camila’s vocals brings the song even more power. While the song is repetitive, that doesn’t stop the lyrics from being meaningful and great. Certain lines stay in your head.
It’s tearing me apart
(It’s tearing me apart)
She’s slipping away
(I’m slipping away)
Am I just hanging on to all the words she used to say?
Shawn and Camila’s duet perfectly tells the story between a couple where one has cheated. The one who cheated, Camila, keeps pleading that it was a mistake and that she just wants to be held close. The one who was cheated on, Shawn, can’t seem to come to terms with what happened, as he tries to make sense of what she did. The event obviously caused their relationship to crumble, but as both of them say, they can’t seem to let go of each other.
The one word that describes this single: bittersweet. Beautiful vocal, instrumental, and storytelling work, all tied together with a heartbreaking but relatable scenario.
What do you think about Shawn and Camila’s duet together? Will you be listening to it on repeat? Tell us your thoughts on Twitter at @CelebMix.