Justin Bieber And Skrillex Are Writing ‘Great, Timeless Songs’ For Singer’s New Album

Justin Bieber and Skrillex may seem like music’s odd couple, but they are on the same page about two important things: writing “great,” “timeless” songs for the singer’s new album, and having fun while they do it.

Sonny Moore is now the front and center producer on the superstar’s anticipated fourth studio album, despite Kanye West and Rick Rubin initially being touted as helmers. The change is undoubtedly due to the worldwide success of “Where Are U Now,” the shimmering EDM/pop banger Bieber co-wrote with Jason “Poo Bear” Boyd, which was produced by Skrillex and Diplo for their joint Jack U album.

To date, the song has garnered over 236 million streams on Spotify alone, a double platinum certification in Australia, and went platinum in the U.S five months after release. It peaked at No. 8 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, and has accomplished most of the heavy lifting of the Biebs’ music comeback, even before he officially kicked off a 30-day celebrity-assisted countdown to the release of his new single “What Do You Mean?” on August 28. The single is the lead cut from Bieber’s in-progress new album.

After a rapturously received, raw and vibey performance at Billboard’s inaugural Hot 100 Music Festival in New York on Sunday — which Skrillex headlined — both he and Bieber gave separate interviews talking up about the new music that’s coming.

Speaking to MTV News, the six-time Grammy winning producer-DJ sounded upbeat about the progress of the Canadian’s album.

“We’re writing great songs, take all the production away, and just break it down to the melody and the vocal,” Skrillex said.

He elaborated, “We’re writing really great songs. For me, at least, I feel like ‘Where Are U Now’ was his first [Biebs] step into real songs, almost like timeless songs. No matter what you think about who he is, you can’t deny that he wrote a great song and that’s what we’re doing, and that’s what the goal is for this record.”

The world will get a chance to hear Bieber’s new music for themselves in three days, which is the time left until “What Do You Mean?” drops. During a sit-down with Ryan Seacrest last month to announce the upcoming jam, the Biebs said it was sonically similar to “Where Are U Now,” describing it as “super cool,” “fresh,” and “summery.”

The superstar said virtually the same thing in a more recent interview with Radio. “What Do You Mean’ is an up-tempo song,” the heartthrob said, adding, “It’s actually perfect for summer, even though summer’s just ending.”

Echoing Skrillex’s point about great songs, Justin explained, “I want to be able to strip it [my songs] down completely and say, ‘What is the raw structure of this song? If we take everything else away, is it still a good song?’”

The singer also said he is enjoying the process of making his new album. “I had a great time recording it, I had the best time recording my album.”

Snippets of “What Do You Mean” were teased in Kendall Jenner and Kate Hudson’s countdown videos.

For his part, Skrillex’s take on his latest collaborator is an admiring one. The EDM titan told MTV, “I think he [the Biebs] already took the biggest risk releasing his first single in a long time with Diplo and myself, and it had such a great response, and now it’s just very freeing because that’s what we’re chasing after, just making good songs.”

He went on to say, “I think that when you hear his voice… there’s something that happens. I really like the stuff that we worked on together and we’ll see what the world thinks when it comes out.”

And after calling Bieber, “a f—– virtuoso” a few weeks ago, Moore keeps the good stuff flowing, revealing the pair’s love of skateboarding together and general larking about over sports.

“He’s probably one of the most talented people I’ve ever met,” Skrillex insisted, adding, “I don’t care how good you are at anything, he [Bieber] will beat you at it, he’s just so competitive.”

The tastemaker added, “He’s good at skateboarding, he likes pool, basketball he plays every instrument, drums, and when he goes into the vocal booth, you know we’ll be working on a track and we’ll have some piano line or melody and the beat, and then he’ll start free-styling. I don’t think people really understand that it’s not an accident that he got to where he is.”

No argument here. For now, until “What Do You Mean” and Bieber’s new album arrives, check out the New York Times’ just released, stunning behind-the-music piece on “Where Are U Now,” which reveals the fantastic secret behind that “violin/flute” riff.

[Images via Getty Images / AP]