Shawn Mendes Raises Eyebrows After Using Photo Of Wildfire Smoke To Promote New Single

Shawn Mendes
Shawn Mendes

Shawn Mendes

Shawn Mendes is facing a backlash online after using a photo of New York City engulfed in wildfire smoke to promote his latest single.

On Thursday, the Canadian singer-songwriter announced the release of his new track What The Hell Are We Dying For? alongside its cover art, which depicted a picture of the barely visible Manhattan skyline.

Taking to social media to plug his new project, alongside the bleak picture, Shawn wrote: “Started writing this song yesterday morning with my friends in upstate New York and finished it only a few hours ago… felt so important to me to share with you guys in real time.”

He added that he was “also donating to Canadian Red Cross”, urging fans to “head to the link in my bio to learn more or donate if you can”.

Shawn’s post came as smoke from Canadian wildfires poured into the US east coast and Midwest on Wednesday, in turn causing hazardous levels of pollution in New York, with people warned to stay indoors or wear a mask.

Many citizens have been experiencing breathing difficulties brought on by poor air quality in the city, which has prompted some music fans to criticise Shawn for using the picture as his single artwork:

The song at first appears to reference the wildfires and begins with the lyrics: “Smoke in the air/ the city’s burning down/ I want to speak/ but I don’t make a sound.”

However, as it progresses, What The Hell Are We Dying For? appears to be more of a break-up song, with lyrics like: “Locked in my mind, you’re all I think about, I want to save us, but I don’t know how.”

Shawn reportedly split from fellow singer Camila Cabello for a second time this week.

The former couple were previously together for two years before calling time on their romance in 2021.