Justin Bieber has been criticized by the whole world since he was 15-years old. He was discovered on YouTube when he was 13 by his current manager Scooter Braun, which lead to him becoming a worldwide sensation. “Lonely” lets us see his perspective of his life growing up in the spotlight at a very early age. The lyrics tell a story of loneliness despite success, which Jacob Tremblay portrays in his solemn acting.
The “Lonely” music video starts out with 14-year-old actor Tremblay wearing the signature purple hoodie and white jacket from Bieber’s “My World” tour era. Tremblay portrays young Bieber, struggling with simultaneous success and isolation. He stands on an empty stage singing the gloomy lyrics to an empty auditorium. In the last ten seconds it’s revealed that the real Bieber has been listening the whole time. As of Tuesday, the music video has 19 million views on YouTube.
The second verse of the song highlights the downside of Bieber growing up as a child star. “And maybe that’s the price you pay/ for the money and fame at an early age/ And everybody saw me sick/ And it felt like no one gave a s*** / They criticized the things I did as an idiot kid,” Bieber sings.
The song was produced by Benny Blanco and Finneas. Finneas makes beautifully sad songs with Billie Eilish, so his hand in the song definitely contributed to the deep emotion portrayed in it. Bieber completely lays out his emotions and past trauma lyrically in this song as well. The song shows raw emotion and conveys the loneliness that he was feeling during a time in his life.
Bieber was in his prime, he was a teenager selling out shows to thousands of people around the world. However, he had everything a kid could imagine, but had no friends around him. Being a household name at 13 isn’t as glamorous as it’s made out to be, and this song bluntly explains Bieber’s experience.
All of the dumb things teenagers do are normalized, but when Bieber did stupid things it was seemed to be ten times worse. The world watched him go through everything in his life since he was in seventh grade, and every mistake or dumb thing he did was on every magazine. Not having anyone to talk to and having bad press constantly is a lot for a young kid to deal with. Everyone judges him from when he was a teenager, but he’s trying to explain that his past self is not who he is anymore.
This song also technically fits really well with the video. The song has the high notes that young Bieber would hit.