Shawn Mendes and Teddy Geiger channel Mercury and Bowie on ‘Under Pressure’ cover
Shawn Mendes and his longtime collaborator Teddy Geiger channel music legends Freddie Mercury and David Bowie in their newly-released cover of the classic track “Under Pressure.”
The cover was released as part of the soundtrack for Bohemian Rhapsody, the much-anticipated biopic about Mercury—played by Mr. Robot star Rami Malek—and Queen, which will premiere in the UK on October 23 before hitting screens in cinemas worldwide. The film soundtrack is due for release on October 19 and is expected to include a total 22 songs—some of the band’s greatest hits.
Mendes announced the cover release to his fans via social media on Thursday (October 11). “Did a cover of Queen “Under Pressure” for the Bohemian Rhapsody film with Teddy Geiger, to honor Freddie, and for a cause really close to our hearts, to benefit the Mercury Phoenix Trust in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Hope you love it,” the singer wrote.
The Mercury Phoenix Trust (MPT) was set up in 1992 by the members of Queen and manager Jim Beach in Mercury’s name, who died of complications related to AIDS in 1991, and works to help charities across the world to educate and raise awareness about HIV/AIDS.
Mendes, together with Universal Music Group (UMG) and Queen, will donate net profits of the track to the MPT.
“Shawn is a hugely talented artist and he and Teddy have given us a stunning version of this Queen and David Bowie classic. All of us at The Mercury Phoenix Trust are eternally grateful to Shawn and UMG for helping us in this way in the ongoing fight to conquer the global AIDS epidemic,” Queen’s manager, Jim Beach, said in a statement.
“I am so honoured to be able to support the amazing legacy of Freddie and Queen by doing a cover of one of my favourite songs, ‘Under Pressure.’ It was so exciting to me to be able to do this with my close collaborator and one of my best friends, Teddy Geiger, for a cause that is very close to our hearts,” Mendes said.
Singer-songwriter and producer Geiger, the mind behind Mendes’ hits such as Mercy, Stitches and Treat You Better, also shared the news on Instagram, saying she was “honoured” to be the Bowie to Mendes’ Mercury.
Geiger said she and Mendes worked together with composer Evan Voytas and producer Dan Romer on the song, which was originally written and produced by Queen and Bowie in 1981, reportedly the product of a jam session the five musicians held at Queen’s studio in Switzerland.
“Made dis @officialqueenmusic cover with my friends @shawnmendes, @evanvoytas and @danromer for the Bohemian Rhapsody film!!! So honored Shawn asked me to sing with him,” Geiger wrote, adding a Bowie emoji.
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“But growing up in Rochester, there were limited resources. I’d never met a trans person before.”
In May, Mendes voiced support for Geiger, saying people should “live how they want to live.”
“Just open your eyes and open your mind,” he said, “because, for me, going through one of my closest friends [Geiger] going through a very big transition period in her life, was incredible to watch.”
This story was updated with comments from Universal Music Group (UMG) received after publication.