The 25-year-old pop star is back in the spotlight after a two-year hiatus. He kicked off his return with the release of a docuseries, Justin Bieber: Seasons. The docuseries consists of 10 episodes, each roughly 10 minutes long, that will air Mondays and Wednesdays every week for five weeks on YouTube.
This week introduced the first two episodes of the series, both of which gave fans a deeper look into Bieber’s life over the past two years. Monday’s episode was 11 minutes long and featured footage of Bieber in the studio, in his hometown of Stratford, Ontario, Canada. The episode also included interviews with Bieber, his wife, Hailey Bieber, his managers Scooter Braun and Allison Kaye, and his friend, Ryan Good. Good co-founded Bieber’s clothing brand, Drew House.
In his first on-screen appearance since his 2013 concert movie, Justin Bieber’s Believe, Bieber appears nervous to be on camera again. What is immediately striking is how earnest he is to show his fans– and everyone watching – what he’s been going through over the past two years. His vulnerability is apparent right off the bat.
Monday’s episode, “Leaving the Spotlight,” focused on Bieber’s surprising cancellation of his Purpose: World Tour in 2017. Braun and Good, both of whom have known Bieber since he was 12 , cited his unhealthy mental state towards the end of the tour as the primary reason for its cancellation.
According to Good, Bieber’s dopamine levels were affected by constantly being surrounded by such high levels of noise, to that point where he simply wasn’t excited by things anymore.
“Performing is the thing that he loves most in this world,” said Kaye in the first episode. “So for him to say that he didn’t want to do it, I knew it had to be pretty serious.”
After canceling the tour, he seemed to drop out of the spotlight completely. It wasn’t until 2019 that he returned to the stage with a surprise appearance at Ariana Grande’s headlining set at Coachella. After the appearance, Bieber felt “ready” to return to performing.
“It kind of seemed like a turning point for him to where he was like, I think I’m ready to do this again, I think I need to do this again,” Good said.
After the lengthy break he’s taken from the stage and the spotlight, his manager, Kaye, is confident he’s finally ready to be back –and face everything that comes with that return.
“The second that he asked to actually put the time in, I was like, oh, okay, now we’re ready to go back to work,” Kaye said.
Wednesday’s episode, “Bieber is Back,” had a running time of just under nine minutes. The episode focused on Bieber’s process in creating his fifth album, Changes, and particularly his first single, “Yummy.”
When it comes to his music-making process, he and the members of his team referred to him as a “perfectionist.” He goes back on decisions he’s made, wants to recut songs multiple times and “hears things that other people don’t hear.”
In Wednesday’s episode, Bieber suggests recutting the title track off the album, Changes, even though it had “been cut already.”
“The reason why I sing it so many times and people probably don’t understand is I want it perfect,” Bieber said. “I can never remake this album. Once it comes out, it’s out. So it’s gotta be perfect.”
Bieber feels he’s grown used to everything in his life needing to be perfectly “polished” – his hair, his clothes, his movements –but he’s moved past that. He’s in a place now where he values authenticity over perfection, and that is made clear through the series.
“After Believe, Justin started taking more control of his creative ideas,” said Josh Gudwin, Bieber’s producer of ten years. “As a young artist, things were chosen for him, and now he’s fully accountable for his choices on this album. He’s in a once-in-a-lifetime spot.”
The episode ended with Bieber in the studio finishing “Yummy,” the first single off the album, which was released on January 3. Earlier this week on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, he announced February 14 as the release date for his fifth album, “Changes.”
“I’m pumped,” Braun said. “I missed hearing his voice.”
YouTube Premium members can watch up to four episodes per week, prior to their airing.
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