Justin Bieber has given his fans an unflinching look at his former life as a child star in a new music video for his song "Lonely," starring Room's Jacob Tremblay as a younger version of himself.
As Vulture reported, Bieber dropped the video for his new track, a collaboration with producer Benny Blanco, at midnight on Friday, October 16. Tremblay appears dressed as the singer, complete with the haircut and purple hoodie that became part of his signature look in 2010. Instead of recreating the dance moves from iconic videos like "Baby," Tremblay portrays a much more isolated and somber version of the Canadian pop star, who rose to fame at the tender age of 13.
Tremblay spends the majority of the video sitting alone backstage and looking at his reflection in the mirror of an empty dressing room. After playing around with a hockey stick, he eventually takes center stage. The camera then swoops around to reveal that the only audience member in the empty auditorium is Bieber, who is looking back at his childhood self."What if you had it all, but nobody to call? Maybe then you'd know me. 'Cause I've had everything but no one's listening, and that's just f*cking lonely. I'm so lonely," Bieber sang over a minimalist arrangement.
The emotional ballad's lyrics seemingly revealed the darker side of celebrity.
He even candidly references his very public low points, such as his multiple arrests in 2014, by observing that everyone knows his past.
"Maybe that's the price you pay for the money and fame at an early age. And everybody saw me sick, and it felt like no one gave a sh*t. They criticized the things I did as an idiot kid," the lyrics continued.
In a tweet, Bieber confessed that the song is hard for him to listen to, given how tough it was for him to get through some of the chapters he's addressing.
"I believe it is powerful to express vulnerability and that's why I believe this song is so powerful," the star wrote.
Even now, Bieber struggles with fame. As BuzzFeed detailed, he recently criticized people for standing and waiting outside his house, saying in an Instagram story on Wednesday that it was "completely inappropriate and disrespectful" and that his home "is not a hotel."
This weekend, the singer will be the musical guest on Saturday Night Live for the second time this year, alongside host Issa Rae. This appearance will mark the Grammy winner's fourth SNL gig.