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Interview:
Bieber Fever Comes To The Palace
 

By GARY GRAFF
of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK

Justin Bieber talks like he tweets.

The 16-year-old Canadian is prone — at least with adults in interview situations — to quick, direct and often one-sentence answers, much like the 2 million followers he has on Twitter (to go with nearly three million fans on Facebook) are used to. He’s such a prolific presence on social media, in fact, that he’s been periodically rumored to be dead if he goes more than 12 hours without some kind of update.

And, of course, there’s a great deal to talk about since Bieber is the hottest pop music sensation of the past year. Both his 2009 EP “My World” and this year’s full-length “My World 2.0” are platinum — the latter debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and in four other countries. He’s the first solo artist to have four Top 40 singles before the release of his first album, and he’s sold nearly 5 million singles and logged 170 million views on his YouTube channel. He also scooped up four Teen Choice Awards last Sunday in Los Angeles.

But the statistics only tell part of the story. Bieber Fever has become a Beatlemania-like movement around the planet, with riots from Long Island to Australia — the latter where Bieber had to cancel a planned TV performance because the crowd was too loud and rowdy. Thousands even gathered outside of QVC’s studios in West Chester, Pa., in March when he appeared on the sales network. Bieber became one of Conan O’Brien’s favorite topics, was a celebrity guest at this year’s White House Correspondents Association dinner and a “Saturday Night Live” musical act. A book, “First Step 2 Forever: My Story,” is due in October, a guest spot on “CSI” also looms this fall and a 3-D feature film is slated for 2011.

But, no, his mom — Pattie Mallette, who introduced Bieber to music at their church in Stratford, Ontario — is not posing for Playboy, as has been reported.

So Bieber’s “World” — original and 2.0 — is indeed a full one. Here’s his sound-bite ready view of all that’s going on...

On his success: “It’s feeling great. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Everything’s been going great, just traveling around the world, being able to meet new people and just enjoying every minute of it.”

On his expectations: “I’m surprised to see that so many people are enjoying listening to my music, but it’s great.”

On getting into music: “My mom always loved music and has always encouraged me. I grew up listening to a lot of Boyz II Men and Michael Jackson, a little bit of Tracy Chapman ... I think they definitely inspired me to become who I am as an artist and what style I sing and all that stuff. It was something that was always in me.”

On songwriting: “I don’t remember the first song I wrote, but I knew that to be a real artist, songwriting is something you need to do, just to express who you are as a person.”

On YouTube: “Y’know, I put my videos on YouTube just for friends and family, and it just got bigger and bigger and a manager (Scott ‘Scooter’ Braun) found me, but originally it was just for fun.”

On his lyrics: “Y’know, I’m just trying to convey that I’m young and I’m having fun being a teenager and liking different girls and those things I know that people will be able to relate to.”

On the bidding war to sign him: “It was incredible. Just the process of watching it all happen was awesome. I just had fun with it every day.”

On meeting Usher, who won: “It was awesome. I loved being able to meet him and have a chance to perform for him and get his opinion on what I was doing. I was amazed he actually wanted to sign me.”

On haters: “A lot of people say, ‘Oh, they just like him ’cause he’s pretty’ or that I’m a gimmick or something like that. The way I see it, there’s more people who like me than don’t, so I’ll just pay attention to them.”

On “My World 2.0:” “ ‘2.0’ was made a little bit after (‘My World’), so I was a little bit more experienced, if you can call it that. They were both cool to make and a lot of fun, but (‘My World’) was my first album; I never really knew much about what I was doing. But on the second album, I kinda knew a little more what I was doing.”

On his hit single “Baby:” “We just decided to make this song called ‘Baby,’ and we just elaborated on it and started making different concepts.”

On Ludacris, who raps on it: “It was a faster song and Ludacris has, like, a fast flow, so I thought it was perfect for him.”

On “U Smile:” “Basically the concept is when my fans smile, it makes me smile. It’s that simple.”

On Barack Obama: “The wildest thing that’s happened to me so far as been performing for the president. It was amazing, being able to shake his hand and know that he invited me to perform for him, that was great.”

On his live show: “It’s a lot of fun. We have dancers. We’ve got a lighting show. We’ve got ... everything. I think people will like it.”

On other ambitions: “I want to record, but I want to be able to do more than that. I want to be able to get into acting. I want to be an entertainer.”

On acting: “I’d love to be in a comedy. I feel like I’m a funny kid. I like pull practical jokes on people on my team.”

On staying grounded: “I have my mom and my dad to keep me on board. “My mom usually travels with me, so she’s every step of the way to watch for my best interests. I’m never home, but if I were home she’d definitely make me do chores — that’s for sure.”

On Hockeytown: “Well, my hockey team’s the Toronto Maple Leafs. You all will have to deal with that.”



Justin Bieber, Sean Kingston and Jessica Jarrell perform at 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 15, at the Palace, Lapeer Road at I-75, Auburn Hills. Tickets are $52.50, $42.50 and $32.50. Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.



Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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