2015 was a good year to be Justin Bieber. Justin Bieber the singer, that is. For the first time, the demographic of “Beliebers” isn’t limited to adolescent girls. Grown men, women and critics appreciate his songs for what they are and not ironically. Behind the maturity in the music is Justin Bieber the person, the young man in transition. It’d be no surprise if people started to appreciate this side of him more after reading his cover story interview in the March issue of GQ magazine. Here are nine important things we learn.
1. While many interpret Justin’s massive tune “Sorry” as a repentant note, written in the hope of atoning for all the wrongs and letdowns he’s caused, for Bieber himself, it isn’t.
“People ran with that—that I was, like, apologizing with the song and stuff. It really had nothing to do with that […] It was about a girl.”
And whether that girl is Selena Gomez is open for interpretation (until he confirms or proves us wrong in another interview).
2. He’s as devout as ever.
Interviewer Caity Weaver notes how Bieber could talk about God with superfluity and confidence. God’s love is the only thing the singer can count on, for both strength and security. “I feel like we can only get so much of that from a human […] If we invest everything we have in a human, we’re gonna get broken.”
3. He helps us unravel that monkey business. Finally.
We all remember that time Justin Bieber got a pet monkey and that time Justin Bieber’s pet monkey was confiscated at a German airport. But contrary to a popular belief, his owning a pet monkey isn’t the symbol of Hollywood wayward excess. A friend, who he named the furry primate after, had given it to him as a birthday present: “I just kind of fell on my lap.”
As for the reports that claimed he didn’t prepare the legal documentation required to keep Mally (which is pronounced like Molly), he actually did: “In Germany, that monkey’s endangered or something…but I had the papers. I even had it written out that he was a circus monkey and he could travel and all that shit. I had all the right papers. Things get twisted.”
4. He doesn’t text.
Seeing how active Bieber’s Instagram account is, you’d think he’s just like us, constantly texting, swiping and struggling to put our smartphones away. But no, the Biebs is not your average “millennial”. He never looked at his phone throughout the interview and expressed he doesn’t want to be too available, people’s pop star that he is: “I don’t want people to feel like they can just get in contact with me that easy.” Very few people have his number which must be changed every six months for security reasons.
5. He’s suffering from what’s likely to be ADHD.
(ADHD stands for attention deficit hyperactive disorder and is commonly found in children. Symptoms include getting distracted and forgetfulness, having trouble with directions and self-control and switching too quickly from one activity to the next.)
Bieber has been finding it difficult to focus during the day and has been on Adderall for almost a year now. Reason behind it all? “I’m not getting restful sleep, so during the day I need [the medication] to concentrate because I’m not getting the proper—you know, when you sleep, your body creates endorphins, creates these things, and when you’re not getting that sleep…”
But with all the side effects (i.e. anxiety, compromising impact on the immune system), Bieber hopes to cut off Adderall for good and replace it with “natural sleep aids” a doctor in New York has prescribed him.
6. He’s honest about not committing himself to anyone romantically.
Even though model Hailey Baldwin, whom he’s been photographed kissing, practically lives with him in a hotel in Beverly Hills (a suite is his home for the time being after he sold his LA mansion to Khloé Kardashian), Bieber confirms they’re not dating. And he’s not looking for a relationship with anyone else either. With his schedule and an upcoming world tour, “I don’t want to put anyone in a position where they feel like I’m only theirs, only to be hurt in the end. Right now in my life, I don’t want to be held down by anything. I already have a lot that I have to commit to.”
7. He’s also very honest about his distancing relationship with his parents.
The young man you see is no longer the clean-cut, great-haired, “Baby”-singing Bieber who was always pictured on the red carpet with his mother Patty Malette. They still have a good relationship despite an alleged fallout in 2014 but they only see each other occasionally. The same goes for him and his father, Jeremy.
“You don’t need them as much. And for them, it’s like, you were all they had. Not all, but they were so invested in you. And then one day you’re just gone, and you’re doing your own thing, and you don’t need them, and you don’t value their opinion the same, either.”
(Yes, we know. The truth kind of hurts.)
8. Selena Gomez is the only “bad” breakup he has. But now things are all good between them.
“We don’t talk often, but we’re cordial. If she needs something, I’m there for her. If I need something, she’s there for me.”
9. His new song is called “Insecurities”.
At the time this interview was conduct, Bieber played a sample of the song he’s working on, which is about fixing a girl’s insecurities. According to Weaver, it’s very catchy.