Justin Bieber and Rick Rubin may seem an unlikely pairing to many, but the legendary super producer is part of the team working on the superstar’s highly anticipated fourth studio album, titled Purpose, which drops on November 13.
Back in January, the Biebs posted a Shots photo of himself with the Def Jam Records founder, which he captioned “With the man Rick.” Three months later it was later revealed that Rubin and Kayne West are producing the Canadian’s upcoming album, although since then EDM maestro Skrillex has taken on the primary producer role, with Diplo also on some songs.
During his recent press tour in Australia at the end of last month to support his smash hit “What Do You Mean?” Justin chatted to hosts of the Shazam Top 20 radio show about his latest single and new album, and was also asked what he learned from working with Rubin.
“I think just how to just breathe and just be still and just work on the music and enjoy it and have fun,” the 21-year-old replied.
When host, Angus O’Loughlin, recalled Rubin once describing himself as a “reducer not a producer,” he asked Justin how that translated in practice.
“His ear’s amazing,” Bieber said of the 52-year-old music pioneer. The heartthrob added, “He just hears different things that I think people don’t really hear.”
Justin went on to agree with Rubin’s self-assessment, explaining, “He’s definitely a reducer though. He’s not the guy to come in and push all the buttons and stuff. He’s more of the guy in the background.”
In addition to Rubin’s pedigree history of producing multiple platinum-selling and award winning albums, many of which are considered to be classics, for artists such as — the Beastie Boys, Run-DMC, Lana Del Rey Lady Gaga, Kanye West, Ed Sheeran, Damien Rice, Neil Diamond, Adele, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, and Eminem — the producer is known for imparting to artists he work with (on request) what he has learned from the practice of meditation.
Forbes previously reported Metallica’s James Hetfield, credited Rubin as being able to bring out the best work and full potential of others through his knowledge of meditation. Based on Bieber’s comments, he also explored the discipline with Rick.
Throughout the year, the Biebs has hinted about his new album in interviews. Billboard recently revealed sources say the record is a mix of R&B, Pop and EDM. Previously, the singer told Ryan Seacrest his album would cover some of the dramas he has been through and his aspects of his romance with ex-girlfriend Selena Gomez. In a USA Today interview he said it was “about growing, being in touch with yourself. What can I say, it’s life experiences, and knowing that you can and get back up and keep going.”
Following the runaway success of “Where Are U Now?” — Justin’s collaboration with Skrillex and Diplo for their Jack U project — Skrillex ended up producing around eight or nine songs, according to the Biebs.
The “What Do You Mean?” singer told Seacrest his new album sounds “along the same lines” as “Where,” explaining, “It’s really uplifting, clear, poppy, but cool.” He also praised Skrillex’s talents. “The sounds are super expensive. Skrillex is a genius. He’s super futuristic and I just love his sound.”
Meanwhile, Justin’s right-hand songwriting collaborator, Jason “Poo Bear” Boyd, recently told Rolling Stone magazine, that the Biebs’ album is his Thriller, in terms of impact and “undeniable” quality of the music.
Justin told Shazam that he finished his last recording for his album while in Melbourne. It’s likely Rubin’s expert ears will be called at some point during the mixing stage.
[Images via WENN]