‘We’ve seen him [with] ‘Baby,’ now we’re watching him grow up,’ producer Kuk Harrell tells MTV News.
By Jocelyn Vena, with reporting by Vanessa White Wolf
Justin Bieber has said that he wants to pull a Justin Timberlake on his next album. So what exactly does that mean? His longtime vocal producer, Kuk Harrell, spoke to MTV News about the early stages of Bieber’s next release.
“The only conversation we’ve had about Justin’s album that we’re about to do is it’s really important that it’s the proper transition because we’ve seen him [with] ‘Baby,’ now we’re watching him grow up,” said Harrell, who has also worked with Rihanna on her Talk That Talk record. “And we can’t just throw him into the adult game right away. It has to be the proper transition. There’s a record in between.”
With further details on this next album being kept under wraps, Bieber is busy celebrating the holidays. He’s slated to release his video for “All I Want for Christmas,” co-starring Mariah Carey, on Wednesday. Harrell worked with Bieber on his Under the Mistletoe LP and says agreeing to do a Christmas album with the teen phenomenon was an easy yes.
“That’s why I think this Christmas album was really important because it gave everybody the opportunity to hear him, see him and get used to his voice changing,” he said. “That was a huge thing going into this album. We were able to get a running start on where he’s at vocally ’cause it’s a natural thing. When his proper album comes out, everybody’s going to really be looking at that.”
What will be noticeably different on this next album, which was teased on his holiday album, is that Bieber’s voice will be much deeper. So does Harrell think it’ll be changing a lot more for this next record? “I think he’s pretty good right now,” he said. “It’s just a matter of him settling [into] where he is.”
Regardless of what magic does end up making the final cut on this album, which Bieber has said may include work from Drake and Kanye West, Harrell notes that the 17-year-old is “always willing to bring a new fire.”