While it's now synonymous with Bieber’s signature music video “hand heart,” it wasn’t always intended to be made for a teenager. Before Bieber’s vocals ever hit the track, that first draft was, as Bunton recalls, a completely different record. “When we were in Atlanta, we kind of redid the whole record,” Bunton says. “We liked the concept, [but] the first draft of the record was different. It was way more Carribean.”
Bunton says when he and musical partner Corron Cole entered RedZone's Triangle Sound Studios in Atlanta to continue the production, the “birth of ‘One Time’” finally took place. It was there where a representative for record executive L.A. Reid noticed the track and thought Bieber would be a perfect fit. After a few months of tweaking, Bieber’s vocals finally landed on the instrumental.
And while he never shared studio space with Bieber, Bunton can’t forget the first time he heard the completed track. “Someone hit us and they sent a snippet of the record. It was crazy because it was pitched up like maybe two steps. It was way higher. We were like, ‘Whoa,’ since his voice was so high,” Bunton laughs.
Bunton remembers when the record took off, but he admits he felt it could’ve sold more than it did had it not been Bieber’s first single. “There was just something already about him. I don’t even know if it was the record -- I just think he had some type of appeal that people really got into,” Bunton says. “It felt like, a lot of times, he was bigger than the records.”
Bruce Waynne, one half of production duo MIDI Mafia, wishes he and his musical partner Dirty Swift had a shot at the lead single, but he’s still grateful he helped orchestrate My World, bringing in his team of producers and writers, which included the pre-Odd Future Ocean.
He admits he didn’t hear of Bieber before getting on a call with Braun. MIDI Mafia only agreed to help, Waynne says, because of Bieber’s Canadian background, something the young singer and Swift had in common. “Everyone was like, ‘Why are you working with this 14-year-old kid? His voice is changing, it’s never going to come out.’ We were like, we don’t give a f--k, he’s Canadian. We have to do this.” In the studio, Swift helped set up Bieber’s Twitter account -- which has since racked up over 107 million followers.