This Just In: Justin Bieber May Not Be The Anti-Christ
Justin Bieber. The name strikes fear in discerning music lovers the globe over. He is the most popular singer in the world today, and he’s sixteen years old. He could record a fart and it would hit number one on the charts. He’s sold-by my count only-a few billion digital downloads of his songs. He’s a millionaire several times over. He drives cars worth more than my house. Did I mention he’s only sixteen?
There’s many reasons to not like the Bieb, some of which I listed above. Whatever your own reasons may be for feeling like you may toss your cookies whenever you see his angel face on the tube, there is one thing you can’t deny:
The kid is talented.
I come from the same hometown of Stratford, Ontario, Canada, as Justin. I’ve never met him or any of his family, although being the small city that Stratford is chances are we’ve crossed paths at some point. I remember hearing about him through the grapevine three years ago. A musician friend of mine was one of the judges at the now infamous talent show that Bieber placed second at. I had seen the clips he was posting on Youtube, and while I was not a fan of the material he was covering, I was impressed with what he was doing with it. At the time I thought this would be all we’d see of Justin. He would become just another talented Stratford musician skirting the edge of success but ultimately destined to play local shows at the same four or five area bars, doing the same songs every night for three hours and a $50 paycheck.
Boy, was I wrong.
It’s easy to hate Bieber. He’s an easy target to take shots at (I’ve swung a few times on this blog). At the end of the day, though, I realize it’s not Justin (or even his songs) that annoys me, it’s the product he has become. His management company knows a good thing when they see it, and when they look at Justin they see a very, very good thing, plus all the benefits that go along with it. They have young girls acting like lemmings, enthralled in every aspect of Bieber’s life. What’s his favourite colour? What size shoes does he wear? Boxers or briefs? Chances are they know, and they will always defend their idol, even as they fall off the cliff of sensibility they are teetering on. Is any of this Justin’s fault? He is who he is, and you can’t blame him for that. If there’s a finger to be pointed here, point it in the direction of his publicists, his stylists, his managers, even his fans. You may argue that Bieber had the choice of not taking this path as far as his career goes. Let’s face it-if you were 13 years old and your musical hero told you you were amazing and wanted to sign you to a contract, what would you do? Say no thanks, and go back to your Hamburger Helper on the stove, or take a gamble and say yes?
This post is by no means a Justin Bieber lovefest. It is, however, my admittance that ten years from now, after all the hoopla has died down and the dust has settled, Justin may one day sit down and make a record I can appreciate. Perhaps something with just him and his guitar, like when I first saw him on Youtube. No backup dancers, no glitz or glam. Just a songwriter singing a song.