Justin Bieber; A Passion For Music

April 22, 2013

I can’t remember a moment in my life when music wasn’t present in the background as an anthem to a situation. Good or bad, music hasn’t so much defined these moments in life but enhanced their memory. The musicians I loved as a child are still with me now, strong individual sounds and voices that I can identify immediately, giving me comfort in their familiarity and sense of nostalgia perhaps. But moreover, I’m still head over heels in love with the music.

I’ve been asked to write an article on Justin Bieber’s music, his achievements and his charitable work but I simply want to talk about his music. That is not to say that the huge record sales figures, endless number of awards and tireless charity work are not outstanding, they are. He’s truly a wonderful person. But you can google that information. For me, this is not about the numbers, it’s about the passion.

I spent my teenage years being told to turn my music off by my father. Rage Against The Machine “turn it off” Michael Jackson “turn it off” Sting “turn it off” The Beastie Boys “TURN. IT. OFF”. I would irritate him so much he’d have to actually come upstairs and turn it off because I simply refused. So many hours were spent with my earphones in, in my own world, but I couldn’t be without my music. My mother was a different kettle of fish, she who had coolly witnessed the heavenly strumming of Hendrix and the thrill of Pink Floyd live understood my desperation and  in any case, we shared a special bond over our love for The Beatles which drove my father nuts because naturally, they weren’t his cup of tea. Nevertheless, my father gave me a passion for classical music that I doubt I would have found elsewhere so I’m truly grateful for that.

Whether you care about my musical past or not is not the point, it’s my history and  I treasure it but it’s important in regards to my admiration for Justin Bieber’s music and his ability. Incidentally, I refuse to use the word ‘talent’ here since I think it’s over-used these days with all the reality shows promising the ‘next Justin Bieber’ (something which grates tremendously on my nerves since there will only ever be one Justin Bieber, just as there will only ever be one Michael Jackson) and therein lies the reason his music is so important; individuality.

Justin has been writing, performing and producing music that is so contemporary that some people hate it. But this is exactly why his music is so important. Those people are my father, they don’t understand it therefore they don’t like it (I should point out that I actually have a good relationship with my father and I love him dearly, we just disagree on some things). Justin has shown that he is capable of covering a multitude of genres. The homage to the Motown Jackson 5 days in ‘Die In Your Arms’ and the beautiful ballad ‘Believe’ on the Believe album being two fine examples. But it’s the difference in his sound that inspires me, he’s courageous. He raps with ease, acoustically his performances are so incredible that he can make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and as for the full-blown productions that accompany songs such as ‘As Long As You Love Me’ and Beauty And A Beat’ you won’t find a slicker performer in the industry today. In a word, he’s outstanding. The beauty is in his voice. Take away all the hype, the dancing, the constant media bashing and simply listen. His voice is unique and truly wonderful and I’m so relieved that there is someone like him trying new things, pushing for a new sound, ignoring the critics, going his own way. I can’t stress how important that is. It’s freedom.

There is a danger in allowing the media and industry giants to shape the way we think and feel about music. In 2009 I actively supported the UK Christmas number 1 of Rage Against The Machine’s ‘Killing In The Name’ not because I hated The X Factor and didn’t want them to have yet another Christmas number 1, but because I had a choice and I love the song. I support Justin and his music for the same reason. We all have a choice.  It’s absolutely fine for you not to like his music, we have our personal taste, but let me assure you that the negativity will never dampen his spirit and his vision because he is a true artist, a real musician. There are no gimmicks, just passion.

I saw Justin live on stage in Birmingham on 27th February this year and the passion is as real on stage as it is through my headphones. He’s the real deal. My favourite performances were As Long As You Love Me, and Fall (the latter gave us a chance to really hear the tones of his voice).  Justin is now a part of my musical history. His songs accompany new memories and his music will stay with me for as long as I live.


-Lucy J.


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