For Shawn Mendes’ latest single, the bouncy “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back,” the singer-songwriter dipped into previously unexplored influences: the 18-year-old told EW in April that he was channeling early-2000s Timbaland when he entered the studio.
“We wrote the song, cut it, and then the next day I was listening back,” he recalled. “There was this empty space after the chorus, and I [imagined] this part, this sample that Timbaland would use. I ordered this guitalele, which is like a baby guitar with nylon strings that sounds like a ukelele. I went over to my buddy and was like, ‘I’m just going to play this.’ It ended up sounding so badass. It sounds like something you’d hear on an old Justin Timberlake record, right?”
The cut just cracked the Top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 — and there’s plenty more danceable guitar tunes that strike a similar vein. EW’s favorite swaps are below.
Justin Timberlake, “What Goes Around…Comes Around”
Mendes achieved his sonic goals when he channeled the former *NSYNC-er, so it’s worth it to go back to the source: Timberlake and seminal producer Timbaland teamed up for the singer’s breakout 2006 solo set, FutureSex/LoveSounds.