Soon after Bieber posted the news about "Friends," Julia Michaels and Justin Tranter revealed on their own social media that they helped co-write the song along with Bieber and BloodPop -- the same squad (plus Skrillex) behind the Purpose smash hit "Sorry." Along with "Sorry," Bieber and BloodPop worked together on a number of Purpose album tracks.
"Friends" continues Bieber's long ride on the collaboration train, as every song he has released since making the Purpose track "Company" a single in March 2016 has been a team-up: "Cold Water" with Major Lazer and MØ, "Let Me Love You" with DJ Snake, "Despacito (Remix)" with Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, "I'm the One" with DJ Khaled, Chance the Rapper, Quavo and Lil Wayne, and "2U" with David Guetta.
While it isn't 100 percent clear whether "Friends" is technically Bieber's song or BloodPop's, if Bieber is the lead artist on the track, it marks his first single as a lead artist in almost 18 months. Clearly collaborations have been working for him, though, as "Despacito" is three weeks shy of potentially tying the record for most weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 (currently held by Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men's "One Sweet Day"), and both "I'm the One" and "Cold Water" also hit No. 1 on the chart.
As for other Bieber matters, the singer recently cancelled the remainder of his Purpose World Tour noting in an Instagram post that he wants to keep his career "sustainable." He has yet to announce a new album -- although Purpose producer Poo Bear hinted to Billboard that "it's time for a new body of work" from Bieber -- but with "Friends" coming Thursday, it's clear Bieber isn't taking a complete break from the music world.
See the tweet featuring the artwork below as you anticipate the new single before it drops on Thursday.