When GQ recently got the chance to sit down with Justin Bieber, they talked about everything from past mistakes to his music focused ‘right now’, and everything in between. It seems that with Justin – some things have changed while others never will – but he credits that to being human and making mistakes.
The interview starts off talking about the posh setting in which the interviewer finds themselves waiting for Justin – they’re at the top of a hotel in Beverly Hills where Justin now resides after selling his multi-million dollar home to Khloe Kardashian due to a number of run ins with not just his neighbors, but the police as well. Justin walks up with an escort, dressed in fashionable clothing, and when the interviewer says “You must be Justin” he replies with “I must be”.
During the interview Justin’s hit single Sorry is mentioned and he’s quick to let fans know that, for as much as it was regarded as such, is not an apology.
“People ran with that—that I was, like, apologizing with the song and stuff. It really had nothing to do with that.”
“It wasn’t meant to be an apology?”
“No. It was about a girl.”
Justin went on to say that his new album, tour, and attitude are less about apologizing and more about admitting his mistakes.
“Everyone, when they start growing up, realizes, ‘Man, I did some dumb shit when I was younger.’ It’s not just me.… If I could go back, I wouldn’t really change much. I think it’s all my journey. That stuff made me who I am.”
This attitude is a contrast to how apologetic he was when he emerged, after a year and a half of getting himself together and re-enterting the industry. It seems as if Justin is done apologizing for the things he’s done and is ready for everyone to forget about them.
Purpose, his latest album which showcases a different side of his talent, was meant to help that – to show him in a new light, more adult, more focused, and more personal – all things fans desire from artists they admire. It was even reported by the Associated Press in 2015 that “Grown Men love Justin Bieber’s music”. This is much different than the target audience Justin had when he first broke into the music industry – it makes sense for his fans, his style, and his person to change as he gets older.
The interviewer brings up Justin being difficult to talk t0 – most of the piece is the interviewer’s thoughts more-so than actual conversation that took place with Justin. The interviewer chalks it up to a lack of verbal cues that one is honed in on conversation and perhaps that saying ‘yeah’ or ‘mhmm’ at the wrong time could turn a casual agreement into an accusatory platform and that’s the last thing Justin needs more of. The interviewer does say, however, that Justin speaks more about topics that engage his passion (such as his fans and God) and makes eye contact “like someone who was told that eye contact is very, very important”.
Justin moves to the topic of his relationship with God being the most important because “I’ve had people that burned me so many times”; “If we invest everything we have in a human, we’re gonna get broken”. It’s probably true that Justin has felt God even when he couldn’t feel comfort from friends, family, or the media who are rarely kind once they find any amount of dirt on a celebrity at all.
“I feel like that’s why I have a relationship with Him, because I need it. I suck by myself. Like, when I’m by myself and I feel like I have nothing to lean on? Terrible. Terrible person. If I was doing this on my own, I would constantly be doing things that are, I mean, I still am doing things that are stupid, but… it just gives me some sort of hope and something to grasp onto, and a feeling of security, and a feeling of being wanted, and a feeling of being desired, and I feel like we can only get so much of that from a human.”
It seems that Justin’s relationship with God is not just part of who he is, it’s at the core of his being and in ways it seems to have transformed him into a man who doesn’t need the comforts most of us ache to find in people we’re surrounded with.
Conversation shifts to the monkey that Justin left in Germany and he says the entire situation was truly not what the media made it out to be. He had the correct papers but the monkey was endangered in Germany. Justin says everyone told him not to travel with it, but he didn’t listen, he also didn’t go back to claim the monkey either. When asked if he’d go visit Malley he says “Um, maybe”, when asked if he’d get another monkey he says “Yeah, one day,” before following up with “If you could get a monkey, well, you would get a fucking money too. Monkeys are awesome!”
The interviewer brings up a recent stunt that sort of mirrored “Old Justin’s” attitude when he was disrespectful on sacred ground. He says his friends frequently moon each other in photos and it was all in good fun, he meant no disrespect at all but he was still escorted off. At first he appears aloof to the severity of the situation but makes an apology soon after.
“I realized, you know what, obviously it looked bad, and it was disrespectful, because I was in their sacred area, showing my ass and stuff. But it was all in good fun. My boys—we do this wherever we are. It’s like a last-second thing: They go to take a picture, and I just turn [around]…but yeah, you know, clarifying that, you know, to the Mayan people or whatever, whoever was…felt any disrespect, I’m truly sorry for that. I never meant to disrespect anybody.”
Conversation switches to his love life and Hailey Baldwin is brought up, she also happens to be in his home when the interviewer is invited in – laying quite blissfully on her own – nothing keeping her attention. While in his home the interviewer sits with Justin and Hailey as he plays bits of a new song he’s working on called Insecurities. As Justin and the interviewer head off the topic of dating gets brought up and Justin shakes his head when asked if they’re together. He does say that Hailey is “someone I really love. We spend a lot of time together”.
This seems to be because of his schedule, his youth, and his understanding that now is not the time to be tied down – while he says he would love to be married one day – for now he’s focused on the aforementioned. It also seems that he may have learned from previous relationships – actually one in particular – that rushing into something when you can’t devote enough of yourself to your partner can create wounds that are near impossible to heal.
“I don’t want to put anyone in a position where they feel like I’m only theirs, only to be hurt in the end. Right now in my life, I don’t want to be held down by anything. I already have a lot that I have to commit to. A lot of responsibilities. I don’t want to feel like the girl I love is an added responsibility. I know that in the past I’ve hurt people and said things that I didn’t mean to make them happy in the moment. So now I’m just more so looking at the future, making sure I’m not damaging them. What if Hailey ends up being the girl I’m gonna marry, right? If I rush into anything, if I damage her, then it’s always gonna be damaged. It’s really hard to fix wounds like that. It’s so hard.… I just don’t want to hurt her.”
Selena Gomez is undoubtedly brought up and Justin describes their relationship now as “good” saying he’s there for her if she ever needs him and vice versa. He mentions his relationship with his family now which is also distant.
“You don’t need them as much. And for them, it’s like, you were all they had. Not all, but they were so invested in you. And then one day you’re just gone, and you’re doing your own thing, and you don’t need them, and you don’t value their opinion the same, either.”
If one thing is certain – it’s that Justin truly has embraced how to become self reliant and be okay on his own; not something many people his age can say for themselves.
It seems that in growing up for Justin, he’s definitely become an embodied version of the quote “Only God can judge me” and maybe, for a soul like Justin’s, that’s the best attitude to have. He is getting ready to embark on another world tour where all eyes will be on him, quite possibly waiting for a slip up, and he owes it to no one but himself to prove that who he was, is no longer who he is. As long as he and God are comfortable with that – Justin seems like he’ll be just fine.