The first episode of Justin Bieber’s YouTube Originals series Justin Bieber: Seasons was released Monday, promising to give Beliebers an all-access look into the singer’s life.
The 10-episode documentary series chronicles the making of Bieber’s first album in four years and gives a raw and intimate look into his process of creating new music.
Justin Bieber: Seasons reveals the motivation for his new album told through the lens of his closest friends, collaborators and of course, Bieber himself.
The series also promises to share never-before-seen footage of his wedding to his wife, Hailey Bieber, and his day-to-day life alongside the people in his inner circle.
Global News watched the first two episodes ahead of release — here are seven things we learned watching the Canadian singer’s series.
Each episode runs about 10 minutes
Each YouTube episode is approximately 10 minutes long, in bite-size form for YouTubers. (In an era of lengthy docuseries episodes, this is a welcome anomaly.)
The first episode features Bieber, Hailey, his manager Scooter Braun, Allison Kaye, who works as part of his management, and Ryan Good, creative director/co-founder of Bieber’s clothing line Drew House. The episode runs close to 11 minutes long.
The second episode features Bieber, Braun, his beat-up Buick, Good, Kaye, Hailey, Josh Gudwin, who is Bieber’s producer/mixer/engineer, and an appearance from Kendall Jenner. The second episode runs 8 minutes and 51 seconds.
He grew up in an apartment building in Stratford, Ont.
Bieber says he was ashamed of the building he grew up in and he used to tell his friends “there’s a bowling alley downstairs and stuff but it’s booked up right now.”
Bieber takes Hailey inside the building and they look at all the changes that have been made since he lived there.
He says that he lived in the building for around 10 years, he tells the camera as he’s sitting on the front steps.
“It brings back a lot of memories,” he says.
His performance with Ariana Grande at Coachella inspired him to get back into his music
“There was a six-month period that was really tough for him. It was really dark, I saw him in a lot of ways that just broke my heart,” Good, creative director/co-founder of Drew House, says.
Good says it seemed like a “turning point” for Bieber.
Kaye, part of Bieber’s management team, says Bieber told her, “I want you to schedule me. I want to go to the studio, I want to dance, I want to go to the gym and I want vocal warm-ups in there.”
“He wanted me to build him a rolling itinerary like I do when he’s working,” Kaye says. “The second that he actually asked to put the time in I was like ‘Oh, OK. Now we’re ready to go back to work.'”
He wants his new music to help others
In Bieber’s first YouTube episode, fans get to hear a snippet of his new music while he’s in the car with Hailey.
“I think what’s been challenging over the years is a lot of the times I’d make music and it would be for me,” Bieber shares.
He says that when “the focus and the goal is about yourself you tend to lose your purpose in that.”
“I think the older that I get the more I realize that I’m not utilizing my gift for the right reasons. This isn’t about me,” the Yummy singer explains. “It’s about helping someone who’s going through whatever they are going through and being able to talk about that thing.”
Bieber says he thinks that’s a “really cool way to look at what I do.”
Hailey reveals that she was around for some of the recording of the Purpose album but “definitely not as intimately.”
“I love to see him do what he’s so good at,” she says as they enter the studio together. “There’s a lot of pressure and a lot of things on artists and musicians specifically that I think people don’t get to see because they’re not around for the full process.”
She explains that since she doesn’t work in the music industry she has “a whole new respect for Justin as well as other artists who put their blood, sweat and tears into their craft.”
He shares the name of (at least) one of his upcoming songs
In the second episode, Bieber heads to the studio to cut a new song titled Running Over.
Viewers also get to see the 25-year-old pop star recording his hit single, Yummy.
Later in Episode 2, Bieber is seen putting together a list of cue cards with song names and features on it. One of the cards shows that he has an upcoming song called Get Me featuring Kehlani.
We meet his producer, Josh Gudwin
Gudwin, the vocal producer and mixer on Bieber’s hit remix of Despacito, says that the singer has “enabled my whole entire career.”
The pair have been working together for about 10 years and have a close relationship.
“I love Josh. He helps facilitate everything and makes everything a lot easier. I’ve known him for so long, we just have a chemistry and we just vibe together,” Bieber says.
Gudwin says they collaborate in different ways. “I get songs for him, I cut his vocals, I mix his vocals, I mix his music. I’m just like a music curator for Justin,” he shares.
“He puts you in kind of tough situations but at the end of the day those situations make you strong,” Gudwin says.
Bieber says his favourite thing about working with Gudwin is “just the fact that I love him as a person.”
Bieber is a perfectionist
A clip shows Bieber singing the lyrics from Yummy “50/50 love the way you split it” over and over again.
“The reason why I sing it so many times and people probably don’t understand… I want it perfect,” Bieber explains.
“I can never remake this album. Once it comes out, it’s out. It’s gotta be perfect,” he says.
Gudwin says that Bieber started taking more control of his creative ideas after Believe.
“As a young artist, things were chosen for him. And now he’s fully accountable for his choices on this album,” Gudwin reveals.
Hailey says that her husband is “such a perfectionist and he’s so good at what he does that there’s a whole different energy when Justin is really in his zone.”
‘Justin Bieber: Seasons’ premieres on Monday, Jan. 27 at 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT on YouTube, with new episodes premiering each Monday and Wednesday at noon ET.