Right now, no teen singer is a hotter star than Justin Bieber. From a two-day stint on “The View,” to a coming North America tour, Biebermania–is that a word yet?–is catching on.
The day before his new album “My World 2.0” hits stores and the launch of his new Web site, the 16-year-old Bieber talked to Speakeasy about his crazy fans, rapping and how he handles all the jokes about him.
Speakeasy: You always seem to do a lot of R&B covers. What is it about the genre that you gravitate towards?
Justin Bieber: Growing up, it was just something I wanted to listen to; “On Bended Knee” by Boyz II Men. I like Ne-Yo’s “So Sick”, “Because of You”. Michael Jackson’s “Dirty Diana”, so yeah.
Anyone in your iPod Justin Bieber fans might not expect?
I like a lot of classic rock. I like Led Zeppelin. I think they’re a really good band. I like a lot of classic rock, the Beatles, AC/DC, stuff like that.
In your stage show, you’re starting to break into dance moves and incorporate some choreography. Has that been difficult for you?
It’s been a little difficult. I didn’t dance my whole life; it’s kind of something I learned, but it takes a little bit of vocal training and stuff like that to keep my voice in check until the [end of the tour September] fourth.
What’s your favorite song to perform on the album?
My favorite song on the album to perform is “Baby”.
Ludacris is a guest rapper on “Baby”, but when you perform the song live, you rap his part. Do you enjoy doing that and does it make you want to take a stab at rapping yourself?
I just have fun with it. Luda’s hilarious, fun to work with, and I don’t always have him there, so I just do it myself. I own it. I have my fun with rapping; it’s just a fun thing to do.
How did you get Drake to be in the “Baby” video?
We met at the hotel we were staying at the day before the Grammys. He’s from Canada too so he wanted to show some support.
When you did the remake of “We Are The World”, you lead off the song, taking Lionel Richie’s part. Did you know that was going to happen?
We were in there, and we didn’t know that was going to happen. They did that last minute. Lionel was like, “I think you should sing my part.” I ended up doing and it was a lot of fun. I would really like to work with Lionel [again]. He’d be fun to work with.
A lot of people joke about you. How do you handle being a punch line and have you heard a joke about you that actually made you laugh?
There was a skit on Funny Or Die about me that was hysterical. People joke about me and it’s always fun to laugh about yourself. That’s the coolest thing about Justin Timberlake is he’s able to laugh about himself.
What are some of the craziest things you’ve seen fans do to get your attention?
I’ve seen girls flash me before; it’s happened a couple of times. It’s kind of crazy that girls would do that to get my attention. When we’re jogging, girls chase us. They’ll just do anything to get my attention.