Justin Bieber is not retiring, but his manager Scooter Braun wants him to take a year off.
The 19-year-old also appears to have broken the Internet.
Beyonce did it by dropping a surprise, visual album. Justin did it by making a joke about retiring in an interview the media didn’t have the patience to wait to hear in full. Go figure.
In his full Power 106 “Big Boy’s Neighborhood” guest spot it’s clear the singer was joking.
On Tuesday, Bieber was asked about his new Journals collection — which includes 10 previously released singles from his Music Mondays series — and what his plans were after its December 23 drop.
“This new album, I’m actually retiring man. I’m retiring,” he replied, in a voice that sounded like the three hours sleep he had the night before.
Justin added, “I’m just gonna take some time, I think I’m probably going to quit music… [Then, in reply to Power 106 probes], “I’m quitting everything. I’m quitting. I’m gonna go golf… No, I’m just messing around.”
Since then, over-the-top tweets from some Beliebers talking about killing themselves or their cows (don’t ask) have juxtaposed next to Bieber’s other constituency (his detractors), who seem to think Christmas has come early.
However, the real news; that Braun wants Bieber to take a year off and regroup while he brings in his 2014 album (slated for the fourth quarter), is actually much more interesting.
Tonight, the Christmas Day debuting Believe movie-documentary premieres in Los Angeles. Fans have already decamped to Regal L.A.Live. It’s going to be utter mayhem.
Ahead of all that, Braun swung by Ryan Seacrest’s radio show. Usher joined by phone.
The pair leveled with Seacrest about Justin’s unprecedented year, which has seen the worst kinds of tabloid reporting — but has been exacerbated by the singer’s own role in the circus.
You can hear the full Seacrest interview here.
Asked what Justin’s thoughts about the next chapter of his life and career were, Braun said:
“He said, ‘Losing my childhood. Losing the time I have with my family and my friends is not worth it unless I give you the best I can be.'”
The manager continued, “He wants to go for it because what he’s given up already, he can’t justify losing all of that unless he [Seacrest added: “gets to the top.”] Braun went on: “And that’s why he works as hard as he does. He did 156 shows this past year all around the world. He just stays out there.”
Braun adds, “I’m telling him after this movie, I want him to take next year off and just take a break, and he can still live in the studio and work on the next album which is what he wants to do. But I just want him to take some time to himself, so he can have that time alone cause he’s just been working since he was 12-years-old.”
At one point in the interview, Usher replied to a query about how much help he and Braun offered Justin in these last hectic months.
“I think overall, this isn’t business. This is family,” Usher said. “So we were supportive in any and every way that we can. There were conversations throughout the process, but I always told him, ‘If this is what you want, there’s a price to pay.'”
The Confessions veteran added, “Imagine if you had a camera following you around when you’re Justin’s age, would you be proud of everything that they see? No.”
“So this is at times, some things that just a teenager would experience, go through and this has all been a coming of age experience not only for him in his maturity, but also as an artist. This is the reality of what a world that we live in looks like,” Usher observed.
Perhaps the most potent comment came from Braun.
In simple terms, it can be expressed as understanding that if someone is living their teenage years in the spotlight it’s going to be messy. And if they’re living a high-octane superstar life as a teen in the spotlight — it’s going to be very messy.
Of that, Braun notes: “From the moment I saw Justin I actually knew he would get to here. I knew he would be this worldwide phenomenon, I knew what we could do together… Now it’s kind of like parenting. You get them to that point and now it’s on him. It’s where, he needs to decide where he goes from here.”
He added,”He has all the tools. His talent won’t betray him and I think you know that’s — shameless plug about the [Believe] movie — but what we really do show is, we give insight into a life that no-one can really understand. We can insight into a life that really no-one’s ever lived in humanity.”
Elaborating on Bieber’s Truman Show-like existence, Braun concludes:
“No-one’s ever grown up in front of camera phones, and Twitter, and Instagram, and social media, on this level and been this famous as a solo artist.”
Do you think Bieber needs a year off, maybe less, or are you hoping his hiatus is indefinite?