Two singles and two Believe movie teasers in, and Justin Bieber’s “Music Mondays” series is doing what publicity reps, defenses by his camp, and an indignant speech at the Billboard Music Awards failed to do — namely, bring the conversation back to the teen star’s artistry.
More than a few commentators have lauded the emotionally direct, change of pace delivered with Bieber’s first single “Heartbreaker” followed by “All That Matters,” while fans mobilized both songs to No.1 on iTunes around the world.
Eight more singles will drop in the 10 week series, with more bonuses like next week’s “Wait For A Minute” also possible.
In what’s turning out to be a precisely imagined, synergized marketing campaign, “Music Mondays” runs alongside the final stretch of the $155 million grossing Believe world tour and the build to the Christmas Day debut of the Jon M. Chu-directed Believe movie-documentary.
Backdropped by six months of PR disasters, allegations, and rumors, and hampered by blood-in-the-water reporting and evident inflation in some quarters, Team Bieber is using these last months of 2013 to recover some of the ground lost and move beyond it into 2014.
In a new interview with Billboard, longstanding manager Scooter Braun says Justin’s 10-single roll-out is a way for him to express and share with fans what he’s been going through in songs written on tour as opposed to a big, radio-geared album.
Admitting he had his doubts about whether a personalized, low-fi series was the way to go Braun says he came round to the idea, with help.
“Both Justin and Usher really helped me understand it. Usher called me up and we were talking about it, and he said, ‘Scooter, artists need to have an ‘artist’ moment. Otherwise, we’ll go crazy,’ And I think this is Justin’s moment of truly being an artist and sharing who he is,” Braun recalls.
He continues, “Justin had this complete body of work that was very different from the stuff he had done in the past — very R&B-driven, personal songs, not necessarily songs that he was thinking of as radio records. That’s why he called them ‘journals.’ They’re very, very personal to what he’s been feeling over the last six months, going through a tough time.”
Well-established lore on artistic or cathartic leaps that often result from back-to-the-wall scenarios seem to be proving themselves in the teen star’s new output. Of this, Braun says Bieber is grateful for reactions to his music and is now in the “best place he’s been in a long time” following a period of feeling unable to trust people.
With “Heartbreaker” and “All That Matters” credible success setting up greater expectations for what’s to come, and the Believe movie’s intention to correct (or mitigate) misconceptions about Bieber’s unprecedented year — the singer’s bid for a less chafing, artistic platform looks far better than it did just three weeks ago.