Justin Bieber is starting anew. In addition to shedding his bad-boy image, the pop sensation has enlisted some heavy-hitters including Kanye West and Rick Rubin for his new album.
The 21-year-old has been in the studio working on his first proper album since 2012’s Believe. “I’m finishing up the album now, working with Kanye and Rick,” he told USA Today. “I’m not rushing it, I’ll just wait until it’s totally done.”
He previously collaborated with Kanye on the remix to “Runaway Love.” In January, the Biebs posted a photo of himself in the studio with Rubin, who’s produced for Jay Z, Eminem, and Run–D.M.C.
The music will represent a more mature Bieber. “I don’t want to say ‘it’s different,’ because that’s what everyone says. But it is different, it’s a grown-up version of Justin and I think people will be shocked,” he said.
His outlook on life has also changed. “My whole direction has changed. What you are thinking about all the time is what you write, and now that I’m thinking about more positive things, it completely changes my music. I had to re-do my whole [new] album. It was done but it didn’t match up to where I am now and where my head’s at. I want to tell my story, but I also want to give people hope. I lost hope for a while, I was in a dark place, but it’s about getting out of that rut. It’s about knowing there’s sunshine on the other side.”
On Monday night, some of his friends including Snoop Dogg, Ludacris, and Kevin Hart roasted him during the “Comedy Central Roast of Justin Bieber.”