In a new single and music video called "Lonely," produced by blanco and FINNEAS (also known as Billie Eilish's brother), Bieber sings about growing up in the spotlight at such a young age and feeling as if he was navigating the ups and downs of that unique and demanding lifestyle by himself. Bieber was discovered at 13 years old by Usher and Scooter Braun, and saw a meteoric rise to fame. In the lyrics, he talks about the "price" he paid for success, including a lack of attention when it seemed that he was deeply struggling mentally .
"Everybody knows my past now / Like my house was always made of glass / And maybe that’s the price you pay / For the money and fame at an early age,” Bieber sings. “And everybody saw me sick / And it felt like no one gave a shit / They criticised the things I did / As an idiot kid.”
The video itself is simple: Room actor Jacob Tremblay plays a young "One Less Lonely Girl"-era Bieber, sitting alone in a dressing room. He plays a bit with a hockey stick (an homage to his favourite Canadian hobby) and is finally called out onstage and stands in front of a cavernous, empty theatre. The only person in the audience is present day Bieber, watching his younger self.
“To be honest, the finished song is tough for me to listen to, considering how hard it was to get through some of those chapters," said Bieber of the song in a press release. "Hopefully telling this story will encourage others to vocalize what they are going through.”
“I’m so happy this song is coming out because not only is it personal to Justin, me and Finneas but we all get FUCKING lonely sometimes and everyone is always trying to play Superman and suppress their feelings and be strong all the time but it’s OK to take your cape off and use it as a big fucking tissue when you need to,” said blanco.
Earlier in September, with the release of his single "Holy" featuring Chance The Rapper, Bieber announced that this would be the beginning of a "new era" for the singer. And while this is not the diet Christian gospel many probably expected from Bieber, it's definitely a far cry from his last studio album Changes, and his thirsty R&B anthems dedicated to his wife. Someone give Bieber a hug!