Justin Bieber’s cover story in the July/August 2015 issue of L’Uomo Vogue arrived online today (June 16), and it’s an interesting read.
Following last week’s preview of the pop icon’s upgraded-Ponyboy-meets-James-Dean-esque photo shoot, the Francesco Carrozzini-shot spread is now seen in full, along with a moderately in-depth profile.
The Biebs talked about his new album, the help he received during his turbulent 2013-14, his rejuvenated attitude — and, of course, given that this is Italian Men’s Vogue magazine — he talks fashion.
Here are the highlights.
Few modern artists have undergone such a profound pendulum shift in image and public perception as Justin Bieber. After noting the singer’s older, instructional tattoos — such as “Patience” and “Forgive” — L’Uomo Vogue asked about his latest body design “LL,” which he had inked last month.
Elaborating on the meaning behind the “LL” tattoo, Biebs explains, “It serves as a reminder that when your head goes down, you have to raise it back up. Sometimes, when I’ve been overwhelmed by events, I’ve forgotten this.”
“What matters is never let things that happen get you down. Because in the end everything’s gonna be ok.”
The Road To Ripped
Bieber reveals the reason he weight-lifted his way to hard-as-rock abs and toned muscles wasn’t just for his Calvin Klein Underwear and Jeans campaign and Mens Health cover. It was also because he wants to be as fit as his father, Jeremy.
“I lift weights regularly, and do lots of calisthenics,” the superstar shares. “I started training for photo shoots, but I think another factor is that I want to be like my father, who’s always been very fit.”
Bieber’s New Album Will Be “Different, Upbeat, Fun But Also Romantic”
His Central Comedy Roast, magazine covers, Ellen appearances, then heartfelt apologies, went a long way. But it’s a credible, banging new album that will cement Bieber’s return to form and comeback. The singer’s fans will no doubt be glad to hear the 21-year-old has no plans to indulge in a pity party on his upcoming fourth studio album.
“The stage is the place where I feel most at ease, and I’m finally coming back after a year off,” the Canadian singer said, before asking the interviewer if he watched his Ultra Music Festival’s guest spot with “Where Are Ü Now” collaborators, Diplo and Skrillex.
Of his new album, which is being produced by Kanye West and Rick Rubin, the heartthrob reveals, “The album will actually be different: upbeat, fun but also romantic.” He reiterated that he rewrote new material as his life and world-view started to turn around.
On his writing process, Justin adds, “I don’t always compose the same way, sometimes I do it in the studio, sometimes on a plane, sometimes the lyrics come first, other times the music. Sometimes it’s simply a beat, and I write around that.”
When asked what he was currently working on, the singer said, “A song about the fact that my life feels like a film that everyone is watching.”
As answers go, anyone observing the Truman-like life of the Biebs would surely agree his description is an accurate one.
Kanye West Pushes Bieber, In A Good Way
Back in April, during a sit-down with On Air With Ryan Seacrest, Bieber said West pushed him to be the best. To L’Uomo Vogue, he says the same when asked why he chose West.
“Because he’s able to take me outside my comfort zone while still caring about who I am and what I think,” the singer reveals.
Putting Musical Hero Michael Jackson In Realistic Perspective
While we have no doubt Bieber’s love of the late King of Pop remains undimmed, it seems the young star is thinking more carefully about how far he takes that emulation. The singer says he is working on maintaining a grounded connection to life and has let go of needing to be seen as “mysterious” like Jackson.
“Now I know that the model is not there,” Bieber tells the magazine. He adds that he didn’t “think Michael was a happy person,” before qualifying, saying, “Honestly, I never knew him so I can’t judge him.”
“He seemed like he was hiding and I think that had to be hard on him. For a while I thought I wanted to be very mysterious like him, but I felt like I was hiding from everyone, hiding from myself.”
Justin went on to say, “Now I have supportive people around me encouraging me to let my light shine and be happy. I think that’s what matters. I don’t think he had that.”
Pastor Carl Lentz And Pastor Judah Smith
Bieber affirmed previous revelations that he sought help to step out of his negative mental and emotional place by spending residential time with Hillsong Church NYC’s Pastor Carl Lentz and The City Church’s Pastor Judah Smith, letting go of “yes men,” and keeping real friends around him.
Bieber recalls, “Carl Lentz and Judah Smith have been really important, two pastors, super good guys who invited me to spend time with their families,”
“There were no rules. For a couple of weeks I just did what they did, getting back in touch with real life, which is easy to forget if you sleep every night in a different hotel and you’re constantly on an airplane.”
“They reminded me of who I am. It was a really moving experience,” Bieber added.
It’s Time To Move On
Reflecting on his hilarious but hardcore Comedy Central roast, Bieber tells the magazine it was made less daunting due the fact that he knew most of the dais.
“People don’t realize that most of the guys roasting me are my longtime friends,” the Biebs mused. “I wrote ‘Baby’ with Ludacris, we’ve known each other for years. The same goes… for Shaquille O’Neal and the comedian Chris D’Elia.”
“The roast was a way to laugh at the things that happen in life, to put them in perspective.”
“In the end I apologized for certain things I did, now it’s time to move on,” Bieber explains.
From Stratford Boy To Fashionista
With the memory of Bieber’s Balmain-clad red carpet turn at the recent Met Gala in New York City still present, the singer told L’Uomo Vogue about his love of couture fashion.
“I really like Saint Laurent, especially the earth tones of the past few seasons. I find it very manly and adult, with a cowboy vibe that I really like. But I also buy Skingraft, Balmain, a lot of Fear of God. I go shopping as soon as I have a free moment,” the singer revealed.
Bieber’s New Life
Right at the end of the interview, the singer’s new puppy Esther gets a spontaneous shout-out. “She’s only eight weeks old — still a baby, and I love taking care of her. She takes me back to the things that matter. This is also part of my new life.”
With the exception of the humongous scarf photo, Karla Welch’s styling in the black-and-white shoot is superb. Bieber’s hair is groomed by Florido Basallo, and Carrozzini did the business.
[Images via Francesco Carrozzini / L’Uomo Vogue]