Vocal Range: F2 – C#5* – A5 (3 octaves, 2 notes)
Vocal Fach: Lyric Tenor
Positives: A well-rounded voice that has continued to improve as he has aged. While it still has an incredibly youthful sound (particularly from 2017 and before), his voice has begun to darken.
Mendes can complete agile vocal runs and trills between different registers of his voice, with few notes sounding uneven. He can blend or mix his head voice with his chest voice, executing runs and transitions without noticeable breaks. This skill is a more recent development, which shows the growth of his vocal prowess over his relatively short career thus far. This control allows him to apply his beautiful, natural vibrato across nearly the entirety of his range.
His lower register is nicely colored and reached with ease, although it is underutilized. Mendes begins picking up bass in his voice around C3, and maintains good projection down to at least G2. He could likely extend further below F2 in-studio recordings, given his current ease on those notes and the eventual darkening of his voice as he ages.
As Mendes ascends into his chest voice, he picks up more of a rasp that seems to be the consequence of a rigorous touring schedule and inconsistent technique. He has natural ease up to F4 but begins to raise his larynx and tighten his throat past that point. That being said, as he has learned to mix, he is now capable of reaching up to C#5 with a chest dominant sound and sustaining a C5 (“There’s Nothing Holding Me Back” live), which wouldn’t be possible without some degree of technical skill and support. At the extremes of this point of his range, Mendes knows to pull the corners of his mouth, again demonstrating technical knowledge.
His falsetto is perhaps the highlight of his voice, often sounding light and fluttering in combination with his vibrato. He can stay in this area of his voice for extensive periods of time (“Where Were You in the Morning”), and though he will often create a lighter, airier sound, he can solidify it slightly (“In My Blood,” “Lost in Japan”).
While Mendes is certainly a talented vocalist, he is an even more talented singer. His use of musical phrasing vastly exceeds that of his contemporaries, as he knows which notes to emphasize and stretch in a phrase and where to pull back. He utilizes dynamics often, including a soft, casual talk-singing style (“Nervous”) but also raspier, coarser, louder sounds for emotional delivery (“Mercy”).
Negatives: Mendes will often push his voice past its natural limits for volume, which results in some distortion and possible damage (“There’s Nothing Holding Me Back”). While he has mitigated this since the Illuminate era, it’s something for him to watch out for continually; as previously mentioned, he picks up tension past F4.
His diction has also historically been an issue as he has tried to mimic the stylings of indie singers, but again, this has been mitigated more recently. He often relies on his lighter falsetto rather than a fuller head voice, whether as a stylistic choice or a lack of ability. His falsetto also begins to sound pinched above E5.
*His Eb5 in “Queen” is incredibly heady, his true chest dominant “belting” sound extends up “only” to C#5.
Shawn Mendes has a vocal range of approximately three octaves and two whole steps, spanning F2 – C#5* – A5.
Shawn Mendes is a lyric tenor.