Despite recent attempts to assume the vacant King of Pop throne (most notably by the members of the House of Jonas), it’s been a bleak interregnum. But a Justin Bieber-led restoration may soon be on the cards. As the impish prince of teen idolatry, Bieber — the 16-year-old YouTube breakout star turned bona fide pop royalty — has captured the popular imagination, sending teenage girls (real and honorary) into paroxysms of passion and mall-security guards into nervous fits every time he makes a public appearance. T paid court to Bieber, whose eagerly awaited new album, “My World 2.0,” is out today.
Hey, Justin, thanks for doing this. I know you’re superbusy this week. Walk me through a typical day for you at the moment.
No problem, sir. Every day is different, whether I am performing or doing interviews, but I definitely have long days, especially with the new album coming out. I have a lot of people who want to talk to me, and I am doing a lot of TV shows and stuff. Then I do dance and vocal warm-ups and cool-downs every day. The voice is like any other muscle, you have to exercise it. But if I am lucky I will get six hours of sleep a night. There are times when I get to come up for air, but most of the time I am working a lot and just having fun with it.
Since you’re in the mood for fun: inquiring minds what to know about your hair. Let’s talk man-bangs — how do you get hair like that?
[Laughs] I’d love to be able to say it was complicated, but I’m just chilling. My hair takes five minutes to do in the morning. I shower and as soon as I get out I just shake it and it just does that. For real.
I’ll let you decide. But all I’ll say is that it’s no competition.
Ha. You’re at a point where most people are discovering their personal style but may not have the budget that you have these days. What are you splurging on?
I don’t actually spend a lot of money. The last big thing I bought was a car for my birthday because I just got my driver’s permit. I’m not a splurger, but I like clothes like G-star and I really like shoes — I wear Supers a lot. I wear a lot of hoodies, but I also like Alexander McQueen. I think he is very original and does amazing stuff.
Rest in peace. I didn’t know that. But I think I have my own style — I like to try to dress fun but keep things simple and me — and like to dress myself, I have no stylist to help me if that’s what you mean.
What about your “swagger coach”? Doesn’t he help you with fashion?
It was kind of a joke we had at first. We didn’t really know exactly what his role was – I guess he was sort of came on as my stylist, to develop what I like. So we kind of made up this swagger-coach title and now everyone refers to it. But it’s not like he is teaching me how to swagger.
Do you miss not being able to go to the mall during the day?
I definitely miss being able to walk around the mall and stuff, but I love what I am doing and I love that I can perform for millions of people and have their support. But there are ups and downs, you know, like everything else. Right now I try to stay positive and not worry about the negative and work on how I can become a better person.
Are you still buddies with Usher?
He’s working on his album and I have been working on mine, so we haven’t got to see each other as much as before but he is a great friend of mine and I talk to him at least once a week.
Everything I’ve read about you suggests that you’re lucky not to have a stage mom from hell. But doesn’t it get too much traveling with her all the time?
My mom’s amazing and so supportive. She’s not pushy and respects everything I do. It can get irritating — what 16-year-old do you know who is with his mom 24/7? But we take breaks from each other every now and then. Like now, I am in London and she’s back home. But I love my mom, I love her and I miss her to death.
What’s different about the new album?
We did most of it in Atlanta this time. We had Ludacris and worked with a lot of cool people like Tricky and The-Dream. My first album was actually my first time in the studio so I hope this new one is a lot better. I was basically a rookie last album because it was during my first year.
Says the wise old man of 16.
Yes, I’m so old, right? But I am definitely more comfortable in a studio setting and stuff.
Lyrically, are you also growing up? A recent song you did for Wal-Mart, “Where Are You Now?”, talked about your dad being absent after your parents broke up and revealed another side of you.
I think I am growing up and that the lyrics show that. That song is about my dad and having him not always being there. But my dad and I now have a great relationship. And I’m fine that stuff like that is coming out. I want to sing about things that are going on in my life, and a lot of people will be able to relate to it.
For sure. I really like “Scarlet Takes a Tumble.” This girl is singing on a table and gets a little carried away and falls off. It’s stupid, and I’ve seen it a million times, but I still think it’s hilarious.