So far, the looming Justin Bieber Vs. One Direction album release date rumble has been a little low on smack talk.
But, thanks to certain media outlets (read: the usual suspects) taking Bieber’s recent remarks about the boy band out of context by giving certain words the Canadian said more play than others — in this case, “strategy” is getting top billing over “friendly competition” — the pantomine is building nicely.
To recap: Justin Bieber’s new album, Purpose, and One Direction’s album, Made In The A.M. are touching down the same day, November 13. Bieber announced the date the same day he dropped his comeback single “What Do You Mean?” on August 28. Meanwhile, One Direction chose late September to announce their first Zayn-less, pre-hiatus fifth album would roll out the same day as Bieber’s.
Fast forward to an interview Justin gave to The Edge radio station Smash! show hosts, Marty and Steph, during his visit to New Zealand to promote “Mean” last week.
When Bieber was light-heartedly asked if he had called One Direction friend Niall Horan to ask him why the band chose to release their album on the same day as his, the 21-year-old was sweetness itself.
“I didn’t give him that call, no.” the Biebs replied. “I think it’s a friendly competition. I’m excited. I gotta say I’m really excited.”
One host then jokingly asked the singer if he and One Direction got together over a drink and decided to release their album on the same day for a laugh.
At this point, Bieber opened up way more and offered what appear to be his honest thoughts about the upcoming album chart battle.
“I don’t know if they’re [One Direction] really going on the road much, but we’re talking about them right now, so gives them some promo, right? So, that’s probably why they did it,” he mused.
After a brief interjection from The Edge hosts, the heartthrob added, “I think it was strategy on their part, ’cause my release date was first.”
That part of the interview wrapped with Bieber seemingly showing no hard feelings towards the Anglo-Irish boyband, saying, “But, whatever. It’s whatever. It’s gonna be fun. I’m excited to see what happens.”
Watch the footage here.
As noted earlier, Justin’s “strategy” and “promo” comments are getting a lot of press attention, which isn’t surprising since many outlets are just as obsessed with shade or feuds as Bieber and One Direction’s fan bases. That said, the two artists are giving them material to work with.
Last week, Bieber posted a jokey video to Snapchat in which he alluded to One Direction jumping on his pre-announced release date to unleash their album, saying, “The face you make when you come out with an album the same day as Justin Bieber,” as he pulled a scared-face expression on camera.
One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson responded days later with his own Snapchat video, teasing, “That face you pull when you’re playing the last night at the O2, ooh!” and making a face that echoed Bieber’s.
Liam Payne also tweeted messages mysteriously referring to shade last week.
#breaking news my curtains are currently throwing shade at me… Should I be worried
— Liam (@Real_Liam_Payne) October 1, 2015
I’m not sure why at this hour but ‘shade’ is really making me laugh jokes are awful granted but u gotta say that term is hilarious
— Liam (@Real_Liam_Payne) October 1, 2015
It’s worth pointing out that One Direction generate more money than the GDP of some countries. There isn’t the remotest chance their label, Columbia, and X Factor/Syco boss Simon Cowell picked the band’s (possibly final) album drop date out of a hat.
A decision was taken, a choice was made, and variables such as Adele releasing 25, her third anticipated album, on November 20 were considered. In other words: a strategy was formed and embarked on.
Camp One Direction could have chosen any date other than the 13th and 20th in November or any other month that wouldn’t write them into a face-off narrative. So, clearly, this album battle scenario is exactly what was intended. Justin Bieber just pointed that out when he was asked.
Can stating the obvious really be termed shade?
Sound off in comments below.
[Images via WENN]