Justin Bieber’s new album, Purpose, touches down in 27 days, on November 13.
That’s when the world will get to hear what the 21-year-old superstar has been working on for three years with a self-selected dream team that includes key songwriting partner, Jason “Poo Bear” Boyd, Skrillex, Diplo, Rick Rubin, and Kanye West.
After kicking off 2015 with a Calvin Klein campaign and apologies, Bieber’s near immaculate comeback derived much of its propulsion from his album’s lead single and mega-smash “What Do You Mean?” (co-written by Boyd, Bieber, and Mason Levy), and his Jack U team-up with Skrillex and Diplo on the double platinum “Where Are U Now?” Factor in the Biebs’ ownership of one of the loveliest voices in pop, his decision to eschew usual, big name conveyor belt producers, and having the chutzpah to get back up after a turbulent year-and-a-half out of the game.
Following the New York Times’ profile with Skrillex, Diplo, and the heartthrob, now it’s Poo Bear’s turn to get the in-depth treatment as one of the names who played no small part in Bieber’s resurgence.
This won’t surprise Justin Bieber fans, who will be aware the singer has openly said in numerous interviews that he worked closely with Boyd, 36, on Purpose, the above mentioned bangers, and his 2013 Journals, which is described by the NYT as “an underrated, under-promoted digital singles compilation.”
The interview is an informative read, covering the nature of Boyd and Justin’s friendship and writing relationship, while also revealing that Bieber bonded with Poo Bear on his own and insisted on working with him over far more established songwriting production camps, despite opposition from the Biebs’ inner circle. NYT praised this as qualifying “a risk.”
It’s a lengthy piece that follows on from Poo Bear’s previous reveals to Rolling Stone magazine, in which he talked up Justin’s Purpose record as the singer’s Thriller in terms of impact and “undeniable” hits.
Here are five highlights from the article:
— The New York Times (@nytimes) October 15, 2015
1: Poo Bear says Justin is the first artist to appreciate his creative skills
The 36-year-old recalled that, after lead single “What Do You Mean?” debuted atop the Billboard Hot 100 chart last month, giving Bieber the first No. 1 song of his career, the young singer led an ovation for him in Las Vegas.
“I’m just used to working harder than everybody and other people taking the credit,” Poo Bear told NYT, who has a writing catalog spanning nearly 20 years with artists including 112, Chris Brown, Usher, Kelly Rowland, Danity Kane, and more.
“Justin is the first person — literally — to bring my name up and say we did this album together… I feel like he appreciates me. And I never really felt appreciated before.”
Poo Bear is also a vocal producer on Purpose and is credited as an A&R executive.
2: Poo Bear and Justin changed their behavior while working together and formed a unique bond
“I was making bad decisions with a minor — smoking weed and getting into trouble,” Boyd admitted to the newspaper. “It was really unacceptable, but we went through those times together, and that made us closer than any other writer and artist could be.”
The Atlanta-raised songwriter recalled that he stopped smoking pot shortly after Bieber rang him one morning and said “I don’t want to do this anymore,” referring to his mild herb usage. Poo Bear says that he did the same because he didn’t “want to be a bad influence” on the young star.
Bieber’s longtime manager, Scooter Braun, also spoke to NYT. Now, representing Poo Bear, Braun admits he didn’t get along with Boyd initially because of that influence. Notably, Boyd was with the Biebs during the not-quite-a-drag race in Miami back in January 2014.
However, fast forward to now, and Scooter notes that “Justin knew what he wanted to say, and in Poo he found a partner. Justin went through a very tough period, and Poo actually went through it with him.”
3: Bieber’s new album has an “inspirational” theme
Amid the paparazzi and press documented dramas of 2013-14, Bieber told Boyd he wanted his fourth studio album to be “inspirational.”
NYT nutshells the record as Bieber’s “chronicle of being built up only to be torn down.”
4: Poo and Bieber are a prolific songwriting duo
After kicking off their working relationship with Justin singing Poo Bear’s re-jigged “Grip Tight” (now “Hold Tight” on Journals), the duo wrote more than 100 songs together for Bieber’s new album, Purpose.
Boyd revealed that Bieber “kind of kidnapped” him, and the pair wrote on the road during Justin’s Believe world tour.
In fact, Boyd went so far as to say Bieber was “very overprotective and possessive of me” and didn’t want him to work with anyone else.
— Joe Coscarelli (@joecoscarelli) October 15, 2015
5: Poo Bear is hyper-specific about his songwriting contribution
In addition to explaining his formula for writing (Boyd says he includes a “main idea” and a “complete thought” in songs with “melodies simple enough for a child to sing along,” but “effective enough to spark interest in a mature human’s mind”), Poo Bear revealed that he keeps detailed records on when and what he writes.
NYT notes, “On Aug. 12, 2014, at 3:55 a.m., Poo Bear jotted down four words: ‘Where are you now.’ And on June 22, 2015, at 1:31 a.m., a couple of lines: ‘When you nod your head yes, do you really mean no? When you say don’t move, do you really mean go?'”
Bieber is set to release a new single one week before Purpose drops on November 13. With the album now at No. 1 on U.S. and Canada’s iTunes album charts within an hour of going on pre-order, and now No.1 in 29 countries and counting, the augurs are good for a close face-off with One Direction’s Made In The A.M. on release day.
To read the full Poo Bear profile at the New York Times click here.
‘Purpose’ by Justin Bieber is already #1 on the iTunes 18 countries. pic.twitter.com/ccq5y7veik
— Music News & Facts (@musicnews_facts) October 16, 2015
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) October 16, 2015
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) October 13, 2015
[Images via WENN]