By Hans Ebert
It’s his “Happy” in that it’s simple in its infectiousness, and has that added twist of having his millions of fans wonder, “But what does HE mean and who’s this song for and about? Selena Gomes?”
The track “What Do You Mean” has arrived at a time when Justin Bieber was looking perilously close to being another Scott Baio or a one man-child Hanson. The non-stop stories of arrests and fights with the everyone and everything that came in his way was making many write him off as a kid once known more for his hairstyle than anything else other than a savvy backstory of having been “discovered” by Usher when the R’nB star was trawling through YouTube, and who then became his mentor. Sorry, but I didn’t buy any of that bollocks for a second. It has always appeared to be a great slice of hype pie concocted by Scooter Braun, the brash and opportunist manager of The Bieb, who once worked for Jermaine Dupri. And whatever happened to Jermaine Dupri?
The biggest problem with the entertainment media today is that their follow-through on stories are just so piss poor. Perhaps that’s because the new entertainment media is everyone on Twitter. They live in the Now. They’re not the least bit interested in yesterday’s news. What’s there for them to bother thinking back to those early days, and the story being shopped around that Usher and Justin Timberlake had BOTH discovered this then-unknown Canadian kid on YouTube? Of what interest is any of this when there are very few enquiring minds needing to know?
That Usher-Bieber-Timberlake story died along with such gaping big holes in other news trotted out such as Ellen DeGeneres claiming to start her own record label and sign up another YouTuber- Michael Geyson Chance- and Scooter Braun managing the career of Psy at the height of “Gangnam Style” mania.
Ellen DeGeneres never launched her record label- it was to be called eleveneleven- and Michael Geyson Chance was last seen performing in shopping malls in the Philippines, Singapore and Hong Kong. It was a long way down from the kid’s very contrived appearance on “Ellen” where he feigned shock and awe when Lady Gaga appeared on cue to add more fuel to the hype.
As for Scooter Braun managing the career of Psy, well, we’re still waiting to see what the first step will be. But let’s not hold our collective breath. It sounded vaguely interesting at the Gangnam Style time.
As for “What Do You Want”, it’s what Justin Bieber desperately needed to be relevant again. But, in this here today, gone tomorrow fast food world of 140 words or less, it remains to be seen how long this comeback lasts and whether, like Miley Cyrus, every Jonas Brother, and Lorde still singing about “Royals”- and the “Mmmbop” of Hanson- how making that career leap from teen star to adult Pop star seldom ever happens. It makes the remarkable success of Taylor Swift look even more remarkable. And looking at where Swift and Bieber once were, and where each one is today, it pretty much puts everything into perspective.