Legendary crooner John Mayer is a big fan of the newest generation of pop songwriters, especially Ed Sheeran. That’s pretty great, considering how big of an influence Mayer has been to artists like Sheeran. In turn, the British pop star has inspired and mentored a new generation of singers, namely babyfaced singer Shawn Mendes.
John Mayer has a lot of respect for the new generation of musicians, which is fitting since so many of them look up to Mayer as a source of inspiration. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Mayer admitted that he was surprised to find himself being looked up to by the younger musicians, telling the outlet, “I didn’t see it coming.” Like death and taxes, the next great thing in music is inevitable, but it doesn’t seem like Mayer’s too afraid of being dethroned. “We don’t realize that every five years a [expletive] is born into the world of music.”
John Mayer welcomes the “new guys”
Though there’s a bit of an age difference, John Mayer doesn’t see much of a difference between himself and the Ed Sheerans of the world, saying simply, “Those guys are me.” The same way he looked up to his own musical heroes, like Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan, is the same way Mayer is an inspiration to aspiring musicians. In return for the kindness and support shown to him by his own heroes, Mayer says, “there’s a contract to make the new guys feel accepted.”
John Mayer doesn’t just accept the “new guys,” he gushes about them. Sheeran in particular has earned Mayer’s respect and praise. There’s been a huge shift in the way music is made, Mayer told the outlet. “…What I see right now is that artists care about songs more than they have ever cared about songs …You’re seeing this shift back to real fundamentals in songwriting. Ed Sheeran is a huge part of that.” Mayer continued, “Ed’s in his own thing and he’s a star athlete. He’s also a phenomenal guitar player. His right hand is a monster.” That’s high praise indeed from as talented a guitar player as Mayer.
The cycle keeps going
Ironically, Ed Sheeran has now played the part of inspiration and mentor to the new, new generation of crooners, specifically Shawn Mendes. In an interview with Billboard, Mendes revealed that Sheeran flew the young singer out for a dinner after his song, “Life Of The Party”, started topping the charts in 2014. “I feel like he was trying to help me be successful in the industry by giving me all this advice,” Mendes recalled of the experience. “He’s the most humble guy I’ve ever met. I forgot he’s my idol. I felt like I was in the room with one of my buddies.”
This is exactly the way the giants of the music industry should treat the up-and-coming newcomers to the business. Spreading the wealth of knowledge can only make music better. Thankfully, John Mayer and the rest seem like they’re doing an awesome job ushering in the next generation of talent.