It’s impossible not to feel for Justin Bieber after watching the video for his latest single ‘Lonely’ performed with producer Benny Blanco; a painful lament over the struggles of being famous since he was a child.
The video, directed by Jake Schreier, sees 14-year-old Jacob Tremblay (star of ‘Room’ and ‘Wonder’) playing a younger version of Bieber, complete with the purple hoody and iconic hair cut. He’s totally alone in a large dressing room, before Benny Blanco cues him to come out on stage where the only member of the audience is the real Bieber, looking on reflectively.
The 26-year-old heartthrob hasn’t had the easiest of careers despite his commercial success as a popstar. Criticised relentlessly for his past mistakes as a misguided teen, it’s no wonder he’s spent the past few years out of the spotlight.
He’s enjoyed various collaborations here and there but he hadn’t released an album since 2015’s ‘Purpose’ before dropping ‘Changes’ earlier this year. Now he’s announced a new era of music, kicking off with his earlier number one ‘Holy’ featuring Chance the Rapper and now ‘Lonely’.
Unlike ‘Holy’, ‘Lonely’ is a simply piano ballad showcasing Justin Bieber’s heartstopping yodelling talents. It’s short, but lyrically stark and kind of makes us feel guilty for being so unforgiving towards him in the past. Perhaps it’s time we all embraced a new attitude towards the singer.