For me Justin Bieber has always been one of those eye-roll inducing young singers—all style, little substance with plenty of douchebaggery to spare. Then Skrillex and Diplo (AKA Jack Ü) took a song the Biebs recorded and made it into a hit called “Where Are Ü Now” and suddenly, everything has changed. Now, with on his latest single, a tropical house-infused little number called “What Do You Mean?” (Def Jam/RBMG/SchoolBoy) Justin Bieber continues to impress. Check out the recently released lyric video featuring skateboarders Ryan Sheckler and Chelsea Castro below:
Following a rather tumultuous and tabloid-filled past few years, there’s been a lot of speculation surrounding Justin Bieber‘s next album (his fourth). While I’m sure being a megastar and heart-throb (to teen girls 12 and over) had some positives, it also makes taking a professional leap quite difficult. In this case, the “professional leap” I’m talking about is Bieber’s evolution, from singing Disney Radio-friendly R&B-tinged pop ditties like “Baby,” to performing full-on club bangers like “Where Are Ü Now” live at a popular EDM festival. I, for one, say KUDOS to Justin Bieber.
Now at 21 years old, Justin is clearly ready to be taken seriously. Initially when “Where Are Ü Now first came out, I remember a lot of people struggling to come to terms with the fact that they enjoyed the song, SOLELY because of who the featured vocalist was. In fact, when popular DJ Kaskade remixed the song, his fans lashed out on social media. The famous DJ defended his decision to remix, simply saying, “I don’t really care who is singing it. If the song is good and I like it….I remix it.” Now, with the release of “What Do You Mean?” people who otherwise might have slagged it off without listening are giving it a shot and actually enjoying it. While personally, Justin Bieber might have some growing up to do (although, of late his public life appears to have mellowed out), musically he has shown tremendous growth in the past few months. If “What Do You Mean?” is any indication as to what his upcoming fourth album will sound like, I have to say I’m pretty excited.
“What Do You Mean” was written by Bieber, Jason “Poo Bear” Boyd and Mason Levy and produced by MdL (producer behind previous hit “Boyfriend“). Had it been released earlier, the song could easily have been a contender for SONG OF THE SUMMER, thanks to it’s breezy tropical vibe. While the song is lacking a big, sing-along chorus and some of light vocal riffs Bieber is known for, his breathy vocal plays along nicely with the looped vocal samples, piano and a synth line reminiscent of KYGO.
Stream/download “What Do You Mean” now (Apple Music/Spotify/iTunes) and look out for a string of upcoming live performances, starting with this Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards, then next week on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (Wednesday, September 2) and a week-long series of performances on the Today Show kicking off Monday, September 7th. Also look out for the steamy video, which is set to premiere this Sunday, August 30 at 11PM following the VMA’s.