Don’t worry, I don’t really believe that, that Justin Bieber is the new King of Pop – I actually believe that Justin Bieber is the new King of Dumb Tattoos and Douchebaggery – I only said that because this kid will absolutely not shut up about Michael Jackson in this interview he did with V Magazine.
On his hopes and dreams: My goal at the end of the day—right now—I want to be successful and be great at what I do. But eventually, I want to become the best at what I do. I want to be the best. In the world. I want to be better than anybody that’s ever done it. And in order to do that, I need to strive to be the best, be good to people and treat people with respect, and work as hard as I can. Because for me, I work so hard and this consumes my life, and it’s not worth it if I’m not the best.
On “the best”: I mean, I consider Michael Jackson the best. If I could be at his level… But I’ve got a lot of work to do. I’m not saying it’s going to happen within the next three years. But hopefully by the time I’m 30, people will remember me. I think people will remember me at this point, but I don’t want people to just think of me as a teen sensation. Because I could probably just sell out, and then in two years not put out another album, and just become Justin Bieber the teen superstar. But I don’t want to be that. I want to transition, and become the greatest.
On his plans to keep it clean: There are people who try to grow up too fast—they’re 18, so they’re like, I’m not a kid anymore. People need to know I’m not a kid anymore. But at the end of the day, I’m not completely grown-up. I’m still learning. I’m going to grow up how I grow up. I’m not going to try to conform to what people want me to be or go out there and start partying, have people see me with alcohol. I want to do it at my own pace. But I’m never going to make myself so the kids and the parents don’t respect me. There’re some artists that [parents won’t] let their kids go and see because they think they’re a bad influence. I want to be able to do what Michael did—he always sang clean lyrics—and it was always that little kids loved Michael and grandparents loved Michael. I don’t want to start singing about things like sex, drugs, and swearing. I’m into love, and maybe I’ll get more into making love when I’m older. But I want to be someone who is respected by everybody. Because right now, the young people are who make society. Young people determine what’s cool. Young people determine what’s going to be in style. So I always stick with the young people, that’s what I say.
More on Michael Jackson: Michael had a really bad childhood. I was blessed with a great childhood. My mom loved me. My dad loved me. I’m now a teenager and I don’t feel like I’ve missed out on anything in my life. I’ve gotten to experience everything I possibly could. I don’t look back and think, Ugh, I wish I would have been able to do that. Maybe [Michael] missed out on a lot, so he tried to [re-live] his childhood when he was older. But I’ve got such good people around me, I’m not worried.
On admiring Lil Wayne and Kanye, and also Michael Jackson: I can’t say I look up to them, but I definitely like what they do. I think that they’re amazing. But are they on Michael’s level? I don’t think they’re on Michael’s level. Well, Kanye is on a different level. I mean, Kanye is probably my favorite producer. He’s a musical genius. But, he’s not on Michael’s level. I think that in order to be on Michael’s level you have to reach as many people as Michael reached, and Kanye doesn’t reach as many people. No one really does.
But what about you, Justin?
On the haters and converting them: It’s all about making good music, and people hate me before they even listen to my music. I know a lot of people say they hate Justin Bieber who haven’t even listened to any of my music. They just hate me because they hate the idea of me. I’m young, I’m handsome—I don’t mean to sound conceited—but they think that I just got here because [of that], because I’m good-looking and girls like me, but the music isn’t there. Here’s the thing: my first album, I was 13 turning 14 when I recorded it, and I put it out when I was 14 or 15. It was my first time recording, and it turned out really well. We put it out, my fans loved it, but I was still really young. Then the second album came out, and I’d geared it mostly toward the fans. And I feel like the more I put out, people will realize it’s really good music, and they’re going to come. I’m not worried about the guy fans because they’re going to come. If they listen to the music and they like it, it doesn’t matter if they go and act like they don’t like me. They’re going to go home and listen to it.
He writes his own songs: But I also want people to know that I write my stuff. No one writes my stuff for me. I write everything on my iPhone. And when people say, “Oh, Justin Bieber, he can spit but he didn’t write his stuff,” they’re wrong. I do.
On being religious: I don’t think I’m religious. I am spiritual. I believe that Jesus died on the cross for my sins. I believe that he put me in this position, and that I have to always give him the glory he deserves for putting me here. But I don’t consider myself religious. A lot of people who are religious, I feel like they get lost. They go to church just to go to church. I am not trying to disrespect them at all, you know, whatever works for you; but for me, I focus more on praying and talking to Him. I don’t have to go to church. I haven’t been to church in a long time, but I know I have a relationship with Him. People can be like, “If you don’t go to church, what do you mean, how are you a Christian?” But I am. I talk to Him, and that’s all.
On being a literal gift from God: You know, my ma has always had God around me, has always made it really apparent. She never pushed it on me, but she always brought me to church and she put me in Sunday school. When I was little, I did these things: “prophetic words,” which is sort of like fortune-telling, but from God. They said in one of those tapes—when I was really young—that I was going to be the voice of the new generation. So, I don’t know what that means. It could just mean that I’m here to make music and inspire people. That’s all I know. I just want to be able to be a good influence on people. I know I’m going to make mistakes, because I’m young and I still love to have fun. I’m not perfect. I think everyone makes mistakes, and that’s what life’s about, you know?
On his longevity: I want people to know that this is not just a fluke. It’s not a fluke that I’m here. I’m here for a reason, and I’m here for a lifetime. And no one is going to get rid of me.
Oh, Justin. I hope not, darling. I hope not.