Here are five quick takeaways from his cover story.
5. He Enjoyed Doing Community Service
“I built a plastic playground for these little kids. I was pretty hidden away. Usually you have to do it in the street but they didn’t make me. I was painting, listening to music and having the best time. There were families there, and I got to meet a lot of people who were happy to see me. That felt good. Like I wasn’t just doing it because I did something stupid.”
4. Kanye West‘s Approval Means A Lot to Him
“Out of anyone in the industry who is creative, he really gets me. His advice is always just, ‘Make music that’s so good people can’t hate on it.’ I didn’t wanna bore him or waste his time. So I was like, ‘Can I play you these songs?’ and he was like, ‘I wanna hear everything.’ To hear him say that, it just showed that he cared.”
3. The Amy Winehouse Documentary Made Him Sad
“It didn’t freak me out, but it made me sad. When I started out I just wanted to sing and make music. I was young, didn’t read celebrity blogs or see what the f— was going on, but then I got famous and people started recognizing me. I was like, ‘Dude, I didn’t sign up for this.’ And Amy in the movie talks about how she didn’t want to be famous, she just wanted to make music. It’s like, ‘Can you guys just leave me alone, I just wanna make the music. Please leave me alone.’”
2. He Thinks There’s a Double Standard for Former Child Stars
“It’s because of the way the ‘Justin Bieber brand’ was portrayed. I was a wholesome pop star who was so amazing who had nice hair and a f—ing image that no one could ever live up to. So when all this happened people were like, ‘Woah, let’s rip him apart.’ If you see Ghandi roll up a blunt, it’s different to seeing Ryan Gosling roll up a blunt. You wouldn’t give Ryan Gosling a hard time.”
1. Fame Isn’t All That Great
“All the time. And I feel isolated. You’re in your hotel room and there are fans all around, paparazzi following you everywhere, and it gets intense. When you can’t go anywhere or do anything alone you get depressed. There’s a famous Jim Carrey quote, ‘If everyone was famous then nobody would wanna be famous.’ [Carrey actually said: ‘I hope everybody could get rich and famous and will have everything they ever dreamed of, so they will know that it’s not the answer.’] And it’s true. I wouldn’t wish this upon anyone.”
Read the full feature here.