"It took me hours to get the words right," said Mendes about learning the lyrics to his new song with Camilo, "KESI"

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Camila Cabello, Shawn Mendes
Credit: John Shearer/Getty

Shawn Mendes en español!

On Wednesday, Mendes, 22, released "KESI, " his Spanish-language collaboration with Colombian star Camilo — and he had a pretty strict coach when it came to his Spanish pronunciation.

"To be fair, not everybody has a Cuban Mexican girlfriend who sits in the studio with them making sure they're saying every word perfectly," Mendes told Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1 about getting lessons from his girlfriend Camila Cabello. "She was like, 'If you're going to do this, you got to do it right. You can't be saying these words wrong.' And I was like, 'Okay.'"

On the new song, Mendes joins Camilo for an English verse, but sings in Spanish alongside him: "Si tú me dice' ahorita que me quieres a tu la'o / Qué lindo sería / Si tú con esa boquita ya me tienes emboba'o / Yo te besaría / Pero no me dices que sí, que sí, que sí, que sí." (In English: "If you told me you wanted me by your side, that would be the best. You already have me distracted with that little mouth of yours, I'd kiss you. But you don't say yes.")

Mendes told Lowe that it took him quite some time to get all the lyrics exact.

"It took me hours to get the words right, though. I could not mess that up," he said. "It was going to ruin our relationship if I said, if there was one ... I remember there was one word and I was like, 'I think it's fine.' And she's like, 'It's not fine.' And I'm like, 'Okay, it's not fine. I believe you.'"

At the start of the pandemic last year, Cabello shared that she was taking the time to enlighten Mendes with Spanish vocabulary.

"Shawn is teaching me this and I'm teaching him Spanish," Cabello wrote on her Instagram Stories along with a selfie of her holding a guitar. "In the words of dababy, LETS GOOO."

During his Apple Music 1 interview, Mendes revealed that he's loved Camilo's tropical, Latin-style music for a while now and that he slid into his DMs.

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"It reminded me so much of why I fell in love with music in the first place, writing music in the first place. And in a completely different language, I was getting the feeling from him so deeply. And I was like, 'I really feel like, I feel like I'm kind of like this guy. I feel like I know this guy already,'" Mendes said. "And so I just, I was like listening to, I heard 'KESI' and I was like, I'm obsessed with this song."

"I slid in his DMs and I was like, 'Please let me do a verse on this song because I'm obsessed with it,'" he said.

Meanwhile, Camilo shared that he's a "huge fan" of Mendes.

"Just the idea of Shawn singing in Spanish is something that brings me so much joy and excitement," Camilo said. "So it's such an honor that he wanted to make this beautiful step in a song that I was doing... It sounds awesome in his voice. Shawn singing in Spanish sounds real."

"KESI (Remix)" is out now.