It all started on a Monday morning.
I was sitting at my desk with nothing but a bowl of Ready brek to lift my spirits, and I needed inspiration of the artistic kind.
So I went onto Spotify, and asked it to show me the way.
“Gods of Spotify,” I pleaded. “Show me an artist who can raise me up.”
And the Gods of Spotify answered… They told me to listen to this song by Justin Bieber.
It’s called “What Do You Mean?” and it’s all about Justin dating this girl who's a mistress of mixed signals. He’s really confused – she keeps nodding her head, arguing with him, being overprotective and Justin just can’t work it out…
What does she mean?
And I can’t help him either because this girl sounds awfully discombobulating. But anyway, the point is that when I listened to this song – strange lyrics aside – something really weird happened. Which is that I found myself totally enthralled by the funky panpipes, background grandfather clock, and sultry vocals. It’s even got me having an existential crisis.
I say existential crisis, but really I’m trying to get round to the confession that I’ve become a Belieber.
Never say never
You think you know everything about yourself when you’re 26. Things like you’ll never like pigeons, people doing their make-up on public transport or Owen Jones.
Yet, to become a Belieber is spinning my world out of control. Who am I now?
Still, as I think about it, I don’t know why I was never one before. Because the more I find out about Justin Bieber, the more I’m convinced he’s a genius (the Mozart of Ontario, even) and that we should all be Beliebers.
I know the Bieb seems like this trivial, manufactured musician for silly teenage girls. But he's so much more than that, and I think we've all been taking him for granted. As musicians go, he’s exceptional. Just the other day I watched this video of him singing the original version of his song ‘Where Are U Now’ – a CHOON – which he wrote aged 15, and wanted to explode with awe. I would say 'pride', but who am I to say that - Justin's mom?!
This is a song I probably heard when I was about 20 and thought ‘meh’. That’s before I spent months struggling to teach myself Fight for this Love by Cheryl Cole on the piano. Such thankless days plonking away taught me that it’s bloody hard being good at the piano - let alone singing too – and I was seriously blown away by the Bieb as he mastered all these crafts (at an age when most boys are trying to master walking in a straight line).
Bieber has a slightly jaded look in his eyes these days and that’s because, over the years – a bit like Harry Styles – he’s been hung out as serious man-meat for the world to feast on. He’s so good looking and good at music that people simply don’t know how to process him, and eventually he became a bit uncool. In fact, really uncool. I should know - once I told my (then) teenage brother his hair was like Justin Bieber's, which I thought was a lovely compliment, and he looked at me like I was a witch.
I am trying to make a serious point in this post, though. Which is that sometimes we are so satiated with talent that we, quite simply, forget to realise how special some people are. And I know Baby is hardly Handel's Messiah. But like Handel, Bieber is a star. I even think that, like the Messiah, Justin is going to make a big come back.
And I hope we can welcome him with open arms. That we can step back and give our opinions of the Bieb some new-found consideration. We could all become Beliebers! And, as Justin says, you should 'Never say never' (to being a Belieber).
When I stop listening to 'What Do You Mean?' and 'Where Are U Now' 100 times a day, I will be excited to see what this strapping young man - I can say that now he's 21 - does next. And thrilled to tell the world: I'm a Belieber.
Follow Charlotte here - @C_C_Gill.