For ten weeks starting on October 7th, Justin Bieber's fans were in heaven, as the singer dropped a new track every Monday. Billboard editor Joe Levy says, "It's a new way of releasing music, and a way of igniting your core fans and saying, 'Hey, I got something for you and I'm going to have another one every Monday.'"
Without a major promotional push or radio airplay, the songs still hit Billboard's Hot 100 charts. "Heartbreaker" reached Number 13. The songs, which featured appearances from folks like R. Kelly and Chance the Rapper, gave Beliebers a sound they weren't used to.
"It's a little more grown up for Justin, it's a more adult R&B sound," says Levy. "Talking about his version of what Kanye said on 808s & Heartbreak. He is not feeling happy, he is not feeling 'Pop Justin.'"
Sam Lansky, Senior Edior at Idolator adds, "This was a way for Justin to kind of show a different part of himself than you hear on the albums, or what you see in the press."
And we did see a lot of Justin in the press in 2013, and it wasn't always good news.
"He has had so much bad press this year, that I think doing something a little more revealing and a little bit more intimate, that his fans are going to follow is a way for them to connect with him," says Lansky. "I absolutely do think It was a marketing plan [and] I think it was a really smart strategy."
While the Biebs has once again made headlines with his talk of retirement, Lansky thinks Justin will keep doing what has been working for him lately. "My suspicion is that on the next album, you will be hearing more of the things he has been doing in the Music Monday series, more kind of intimate, confessional, vulnerable lyrics. A little bit more left leaning and experimental sounds."
We'll just have to wait and see.
—Segment produced by Chay Lee
—Article by Alan Noah