Will Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez — the once halycon Jelena — ever be allowed to move on?
Apparently not. Jack Ü dropped their impressive Justin Bieber-starring “Where Are Ü Now” music video on Monday. The visual shows the Canadian superstar lamenting loss amid a kaleidoscopic, time-lapse tsunami of bizarre, wonderful — and, at times, provocative — art contributed by fans and emerging artists during sessions at a Los Angeles gallery.
Among the rapidly-changing images, graffiti art, and messages, at least three phrases are about the Biebs’ former girlfriend, Selena Gomez. ET Online spotted one at the 1:21 mark. It reads “Where R Now, Selena.”
At another point in the video, another fan-created message revealed a crossed out “Jelena 5ever” with the words, “I want you to know” written above. The latter seemingly referred to the same-titled track recently released by the producer-DJ Zedd which featured Gomez.
A third reference to the Disney alum shows the words “I miss you Selena!!” in a speech bubble near the Biebs’ mouth.
Usual suspect gossip outlets are now feverishly claiming the Selena Gomez references in the “Where Are Ü Now” visual are personal messages from Justin Bieber. Several allege the 21-year-old is “dissing” Gomez. Others claim the heartthrob is trying to tell the actress-singer he misses her and wants to reunite.
In fact, any claims that Bieber, or Jack Ü’s Diplo and Skrillex, are sending messages out to Gomez, or anyone else in their video, are wholly incorrect.
As reported, the EDM kings extended an open invitation to fans and artists to a three-day art drive at the Seventh Letter Gallery in L.A. to draw on video stills of Bieber at the end of May. The art produced was later incorporated and animated in the video.
In addition, Pitchfork reports the choice about which art was included (it looks like all of it went in), was made by the video directors. They are two brothers, known as Brewer, who acted as curators.
Now, Hollywood Life — who led the “Bieber sends message to Gomez” narrative — claim they reached out to the Biebs’ team for a comment on the speculation. The gossip website writes, “Justin’s camp said that all the art in the video is fan art, and they’re not messages from Justin.”
Skrillex and Diplo also wrote a statement at the upload of their video to YouTube following its initial broadcast on ABC News’ Good Morning America on Monday. The note is posted at Diplo’s Instagram account.
The duo stated they wanted the “Where Are Ü Now” video to be an “ode to our fans.” They went on to write, “Justin wrote this record during a tough time in his life and it comes to us that sometimes – as artists – we are also just objects and we have to take that as much as we have to use that to create. We all do this for you, respect that you put us here, and it’s Ü that made the video.”
Surely, clear enough. Chatter about whether or not Bieber is singing about the demise of his romance with Gomez will doubtless continue, especially as he previously admitted the “Good For You” songstress is the “inspiration” for some of the material on his new album.
But, regarding art in Bieber’s latest collaborative video, the singer’s team have reportedly confirmed the obvious: that all the art overlays are fan-made or created by rising artists.
Meanwhile, the single is now No. 9 on U.S. iTunes, and No.l on U.S. iTunes dance chart. It remains in the Top 10 most streamed track on Spotify in the UK, Canada, and U.S., and is currently No. 15 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.
At press time, Jack Ü and Bieber’s stunning video, which documents some of the crowd-sourcing process, has attracted over 3.6 million views since its YouTube debut. And, for the moment, one of the Internet’s favorite games is endlessly pressing pause and play on the visual. Wherever you land is gold.
— Mitchell Mitchell (@itchellmitchell) June 29, 2015
[Images via Sony]