Justin Bieber Co-Writer Poo Bear Forms New Band, Drops Single For 'Roots' Series: Exclusive

Jon Ryan Sugimoto
Poo Bear and Jared Gutstadt

Most music fans know Jason "Poo Bear" Boyd for his extensive collaborations with Justin Bieber, co-writing hits like "Where Are You Now," "What Do You Mean?" and "Company," among a slew of others. But now the songwriter is stepping out on his own, collaborating with music licensing company Jingle Punks for a new song, "Born This Way," which soundtracks the trailer for the History Channel's eight-hour Roots miniseries on the way this Memorial Day.

The miniseries, a remake of the original Roots series that aired in 1977, is set to star Forest Whitaker, Laurence Fishburne, Anna Paquin and Jonathan Rhys Meyers, with Questlove serving as music supervisor, and will be broadcast across four nights on History, A&E and Lifetime starting on May 30.

"One of the imperatives to this campaign is appealing to youth," says History's vice president of on-air brand creative Krista Liney. "It’s an important story and we want everyone to tune in."

But that's not the end of Poo Bear's collaboration with Jingle Punks, or more specifically the company's co-founder/president Jared Gustadt; after teaming up for "Born This Way," the two decided to form a new band, Bear and a Banjo, with plans to release an eight-song blues/folk EP in the coming months via ole -- Jingle Punks' parent company -- and Red Dot Records.

"The idea here was to do one song for the Roots project," Poo Bear explains about how the band came together. "Jared got on guitar and I made up the lyrics at his desk, real simple. We loved this process a lot and it led to us making more folk [and] blues-inspired music; we want to create a full record to release, and hopefully collaborate with a big producer like T-Bone Burnett... This is real music. I'm glad we launched this through an important project like Roots.”

For his part, Gustadt hints at some "super names" being involved in the project, which as of press time does not have a release date. "I knew we needed the perfect song and I needed the perfect partner to do this," he says of the Roots single. "His lyrics, matched with my production and guitar playing ended up creating the perfect sound for this period."

Check out the trailer, which incorporates "Born This Way," above.