In this era of fake news, it’s important to determine what isn’t true and what deserves to be true.
For instance: this week has brought us intriguing rumblings that Zayn and Justin Bieber could be collaborating soon, with anonymously sourced reports claiming that Biebs and Z are in “tentative discussions” about working together.
For those of us who live for emotionally fueled lyrical content and high notes so deliberate they give us life, this potential union could be an absolute dream. So before this rumor is either shut down or confirmed, may I present the mood board of my (and/or “our”) Justin Malik dreams, based on everything we know about the two artists' lyrics and music to date.
Just please remember that if you are either artist, you owe me royalties if you take these ideas to heart.
Title: “Sorry iT’s YoU”
Defining lyric: “You know I try but I don’t do too well with apologies / I hope I don’t run out of time, could someone call a referee? / It’s you, it’s you, it’s you”
Let’s ease into this. Both Baby B and Z-Squad have built a career on their flair for dramatics. So here, to break up the regret and the earnestness and the endless pining, we have a song that celebrates their subject — a woman who plays the metaphorical referee (and maybe the literal one— perhaps she works in the WNBA). They feel pretty bad about being so OTT. They’re sorry they’re so extra. They’re sorry that it’s always something. But more specifically, they’re sorry that it’s her who has to clean up their heart-centric messes. (And sorrier still that they’re TyPinG LiKe ThiS.)
Title: “Love Yourself LIKE I WOULD”
Defining lyric: “Hey, what’s up? It’s been a while / Talking ’bout it’s not my style / And I didn’t wanna write a song / Cause I didn’t want anyone thinking I still care, I don’t”
A relationship isn’t going to complete anybody, but many of both Justin and Zayn’s songs don’t seem to get that. Thus, this track would be a daring venture into self-confidence outside of a relationship context. “I don’t care about you that way” would be how the track begins, before launching into why that shouldn’t matter because their subject is thriving on their own, and that’s a wonderful thing. Also, the song would be about Harry Styles, because why not let me have this?
Title: “Never Say PILLOWTALK”
Defining lyric: “So we’ll piss off the neighbors / In the place that feels the tears, the place to lose your fears / And there’s just no turning back when your heart’s under attack / Gonna give everything I have cause this is my destiny”
There’s an anthem and then there’s an anthem. Sure, “PILLOWTALK” began as an homage to a dramatic on-and-off relationship, but with the help of “Never Say Never” (the greatest jam of 2010), it morphs into two guys’ determination to power up by getting real. Picture Zayn and Biebs pissing off the neighbors with their heart-to-hearts, defined by affirmations about their own worth. It’s OK to cry! It’s OK to be afraid! Vulnerability is liberation! Destiny, thy name is friendship! This song is their creed.
Title: “BeFoUr One Less Lonely Girl”
Defining lyric: “I don’t drink to get drunk, I feel all the right funk / If there’s something I want I’ll take all the right wrongs / Christmas wasn’t merry, 14th of February not one of them spent with you / How many dinner dates, set dinner plates / And he didn’t even touch his food”
And sometimes we need to dial it back and get serious. Both Big Z and My Precious Son™ have endured their ups and downs in the public eye. So why not use music — their shared medium — to explore the ins and outs of their party years and the way they affected the people around them? Maybe we need to hear about their terrible holidays or their old excuses for drinking too much. Maybe we need to find out that we — yes, us — were the hypothetical lonely girl, and Zayn and Justin did everything in hopes of filling the void in our hearts, in our souls. That is, before they realized we never held the void, and it was they who had to find meaning all along.
Title: “dRuNk Boyfriend”
Defining lyric: “Tell me what you like, yeah, tell me what you don’t / I could be your Buzz Lightyear, fly across the globe / Right now I’m emotional / I lose control when I’m with you / I hope I haven’t said too much / Guess I always push my luck when I’m with you”
We’ve all been “drunk” on grandiose ideas in an attempt to impress the people we like. And this is the song that surmises exactly how uncool we sound when comparing ourselves to Buzz Lightyear while alluding to owning a private jet. We rarely hear male pop stars on these guys' level wax poetic about their embarrassing failures, so here’s to the idea of the two of them commiserating over all the dumb things they’ve said. Think of how it would endear us to them. Think of how hard we’d laugh. Think of a chorus in which Gigi Hadid adds, “It’s true, all of it.” Amen.
Title: “DO SOMETHING GOOD It’s All That Matters”
Defining lyric: “Let’s do something good today before it’s too late / You’re all that matters to me, yeah, yeah”
It’s true: “DO SOMETHING GOOD” is originally about a twentysomething dude smoking weed and playing video games, while “All That Matters” is a jam about Bieber’s king bed feeling empty without his queen. But what if they tweaked the lyrics to write a song about the importance of philanthropy? What if they made the song’s subject our home planet? What if Earth is all that matters, and we’ve finally been given a call to arms to shut off our gaming systems and do something? What if Bieber’s bed is empty without a safe and healthy planet, while Zayn knows that without environmental protection, nothing green can grow?
Or maybe this entire thing is just a rumor, and there's no JustZayn song of any kind in the works! Who's to say? One thing's for sure, though: Zayn, Justin, if you see these completely brilliant ideas and like any of them, call my agent.