When Justin Bieber dropped "Boyfriend" back in 2012, it marked his transition from charismatic boy-next-door to a confident ladies' man. "I can take you places you ain't never been before," he sing-talks in the opening verse, asking the girl in question to give him a fighting chance. But it wasn't always about wishing for a relationship.
Mike Posner, who co-wrote the song, recently revealed the songwriting secrets behind it in a web interview for The Tonight Show, speaking about how him, Bieber, and co-writer Blackbear first brought "Boyfriend" to life. "The story starts on a dark Los Angeles night," Posner said. "I was hanging out with my friend Blackbear, and he was playing guitar, and I started singing this thing over it. Originally we had these lyrics that went, 'Inside of your bedroom, no one has to know. Inside of your bedroom, that's where we should go.'"
"But I never really liked those lyrics and so I sat in the studio for hours," Posner continued, "and then this statement popped into my head: 'If I was your boyfriend.'" So Posner — channeling the similar technique of if/then statements he also utilized on "Cooler Than Me" — replaced the chorus with "If I was your boyfriend." Bieber then wrote the verses, and the rest is history.
"I think he [Bieber] either invented or popularized the word 'swaggy' in that song," Posner added, calling it the song's "most notable" lyric.