Justin Bieber has been throwing the hashtag #Bieber2020 around for several weeks now, and he’s continuing to show fans what his long-awaited, much-hyped, very yummy new era is all about. On Monday (January 27), the singer’s YouTube docuseries, Justin Bieber: Seasons, officially launched, with the first four episodes premiering on the streaming platform. And judging by what we’ve seen so far, this is the grown-up Never Say Never that Beliebers have been waiting for.
The first episode, titled “Leaving the Spotlight,” focuses on how the pop sensation fought to return to music after abruptly canceling his Purpose World Tour in July 2017. The next three episodes, however, are entirely forward-looking, focusing on Bieber’s close circle of collaborators, his return to the studio, and his relationship with his wife, Hailey. Below, check out the biggest highlights and takeaways from the first four episodes of the 10-part documentary event.
His first album in four years is coming very, very soon.
After a short intro to the series from Bieber, the first episode flashes back to last spring. When “May 2019” shows up onscreen, the words “9 months until album release” appear underneath it. If that’s true, Bieber’s forthcoming fifth studio album should be arriving in February. As in, next month! JB has yet to formally announce a release date, but he did host a listening party in L.A. last week, and he also teased the dates January 27, 28, 29, and February 14 prior to the Seasons premiere. Beliebers, you’re going to want to be on high alert for the next couple weeks.
His Coachella appearance with Ariana Grande was a major turning point for him.
Remember when Bieber hopped onstage during his pal Ari’s headlining Coachella performance last year? He may have looked all cool and casual while performing “Sorry” for the crowd, but according to his close friend Ryan Good, he was unsure whether or not it was the right time for him to return to the stage. Ultimately, though, the appearance inspired him to get back to work and kickstart his fifth album era.
His new music sounds well worth the wait.
So far, “Yummy” is the only (scrumptious) single Bieber has shared in anticipation of his Purpose follow-up, but Seasons whets our appetites for more new tuneage. In one scene, Justin and Hailey jam out to a new track in the car, with the singer beaming as he mouths along, “And I fly out / Fly out to the east coast / I gotta keep the lights on / You know it.” The end of the first episode ends with another as-yet-unreleased R&B track on which Bieber sings, “When you come around me / Do me like you miss me / Even though you’ve been with me / Let’s not miss out on each other."
The subsequent episodes preview even more new tracks, including one where JB belts, “Sometimes it feels good to cry,” and another that finds him lamenting, “Never feeling good enough / All I ever did was let you down / Never understood why you stayed around.” But it’s not all doom and gloom — in another scene from the studio, Bieber dances while listening to the playback of a loved-up track on which he sings, “Where you going? Don’t go far, love / Blessing sent to me, that’s what you are, love / Ride through life with me, hop in the car, love.”
There’s even a bilingual banger on the new album.
Good news for “Despacito” fans: Bieber’s back on his Spanish-singing grind! In one scene, we see him recording an energetic song called “La Bomba,” which features the lyric, “Say she wanna dance / To La Bomba.” “I don’t speak Spanish,” Bieber admits later. “Singers are good at imitating, so I guess I’m just good at imitating? I can hear it and then just repeat it.”
Hailey is her husband’s No. 1 fan.
The singer’s wife is a big part of Seasons — she pops up several times throughout each episode, joking about how she’s “the muse” of Justin’s new album. The doc also features solo interviews with Hailey, where she admits she loves supporting her S.O. in the studio. “I love watching him do what he’s so good at,” she says. “Even if it means me laying on the couch until 3 or 4 in the morning binge watching TV shows and just being around. ... I feel at home wherever he is, so if he’s holed up in the studio, that feels like home to me.”
We even see footage of Hailey getting her hubby to take his medications and zipping up the hyperbaric oxygen chamber where he naps. In his own interview, Bieber gushes, “Since I was young I always wanted to be married. I always wanted a family. But I didn’t know it would happen, so I’m really pumped about it. ... Just the idea of stability is something I never really had growing up, and it’s something I’ve always wanted.”
“Keep On Forgiving Me” and “Habitual” sound like two of the sweetest love songs.
In episode four, we see footage of Bieber cutting a song called “Keep On Forgiving Me,” inspired by his wife’s admirable patience. “Every time I do something stupid, she forgives me,” Justin confesses, later adding, “I think she’s the only one that can put up with me. For real.” The prior episode also previews a song called “Habitual,” which Justin called one of his favorites and which features the sweet lyric, “My love for you’s habitual.”
The singer later admitted that having his wife around the studio so often is a great but sometimes nerve-wracking thing. “I still get nervous with her in the room for some reason,” he said. “It’s weird, I know, but she just makes me nervous because I love her so much and I want her to like my stuff. And it’s about her, too, so I’m singing about her. It’s a weird thing, but it’s awesome.”
His close circle of collaborators has remained the same.
Episode three of the doc, “Making Magic,” zeroes in on tight-knit team Bieber makes music with, which, according to manager Scooter Braun, hasn’t changed much. His inner circle includes longtime producer and engineer Josh Gudwin, an “integral” part of JB’s music, as well as trusted songwriter Poo Bear, whom Bieber hails as “freakishly talented” and the person who can most accurately help him articulate his feelings.
He was super humbled by a visit to his hometown.
The first episode follows Justin and Hailey to the singer’s hometown of Stratford, Ontario, which he says he hasn’t shown anyone since his 2011 documentary, Never Say Never. The couple even visits the apartment where Bieber lived for 10 years as a little boy. “I’m pulling up in a Range Rover? Would’ve never thought that in a million years,” he muses, clearly humbled by the homecoming.
Justin is entirely ready for his new era.
“He’s earned the right to do it in his own time,” Braun says at one point, describing Justin’s approach to album No. 5. It sounds like the singer’s return to music is happening entirely on his own terms and with minimal pressure — something we can see based on the timeline of the project. The doc shows footage of Bieber experimenting with different instruments and sounds from April to October 2019, suggesting he wasn’t in any kind of rush.
“My life is changing a lot,” Bieber says at one point. “Getting married, getting back in the studio, talking about getting married. Just being creative with being in this new chapter. And being happy about what I’m doing and being in a good space; a better headspace.” Bieber insists he’s more than ready to return to doing what he loves, saying, “I’m the best in the studio and on stage than I am anywhere else.”