Justin Bieber has had a very public rebirth that can be traced back to his Comedy Central roast, where the singer was able to air our and laugh at his years of egg-throwing, drag-racing antics before anyone else could. Since then, Justin triumphed during his performance at this year's MTV VMA's and left no topic uncovered in his own Complex cover story.
Most noticeably, his music at the forefront of his resurgence with chart-topping singles "Where Are Ü Now" and follow-up single "What Do You Mean?" that scored Bieber his first ever No. 1 single on the Billboard Hot 100. With only a week left until the release of his highly-anticipated new album Purpose, Bieber sat down with Billboard to talk about his struggle being a child star and how he got it all back together.
On his new album Purpose:
“F---, I’m so nervous. It’s hard to make meaningful songs that make you want to dance because it can come off cheesy. In the past I’ve recorded songs that I didn’t like, that I wouldn’t listen to, that the label was telling me to record. I’m self-expressing with this album -- I can’t skip on the moments that were dark, the moments that were happy, the ex-girlfriend stuff. It makes it real, rather than ‘Let’s call up Max Martin to write you a hit song.’ I want my music to be inspiring.”
On his relationship with his mom:
“[It was] pretty nonexisting. I was distant because I was ashamed. I never wanted my mom to be disappointed in me and I knew she was. We spent some time not talking, so it takes time to rebuild that trust. She’s living in Hawaii now, so it’s hard, but getting better. She’s an amazing woman and I love her.”
On becoming famous so young:
“I wouldn’t suggest being a child star. It’s the toughest thing in the world...Everything is so [based] on people’s looks and stuff... Look at the statistics on how many child stars have crumbled and turned out to be wack jobs. It’s because -- it’s f---ed, bro, this lifestyle.”
On his struggle with fame:
“It might seem awesome from the outside, but I’m struggling. Certain things broke my trust with people. Situations happen that taint your mind. I started going through the motions. I felt like people were judging me all the time. I came out alive. I came out swinging. But I was close to letting [fame] completely destroy me.”
He even mentions Kylie Jenner as an example of getting famous too young.
“I want people to be more kind to young celebrities. Like Kylie [Jenner]. Look at her world: She has been living on TV since she was a kid. Every time she’s looking around she sees a camera, and that’s affecting how she’s thinking and how she’s perceiving people and why she has to do certain things ... Situations that happen taint your mind, especially in this industry. Especially for girls.”
On ex-girlfriend Selena Gomez:
"I’m proud of the woman she is today. When you love someone that much, even if something comes between you, it’s a love that never really dies.”
On those infamous Bora Bora pictures:
"I do feel the photo was an invasion of my privacy. I felt super violated. My dad made light of it, but I don’t think that’s sick and twisted. It was funny. Dads are going to be dads...I was scared [when I saw the first picture]. I first saw the one with the black bar over it. I was like, ‘Oh, my God. I just got out of the water. Shrinkage is real.’...[But that’s] as big as she gets.”
Read the full cover story out now at Billboard. Purpose drops on Nov. 13.