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Def Jam CEO Steve Bartels Talks Justin Bieber’s New Single

Steve Bartels is one of the most enthusiastic and ebullient executives you’re ever likely to meet. Over the course of three decades in the music business — first as a DJ, then in rapidly elevating roles at A&M, Arista, Island Def Jam and finally just Def Jam, where he’s been CEO since 2014 — he’s led with the vigor of a basketball coach, and the sports metaphor is no accident. He keeps a basketball in his sleek corner office at Universal Music’s New York headquarters, which serves as both a literal and symbolic reminder of his company’s emphasis on teamwork, and at any given moment during meetings someone on his staff is usually holding it.
That enthusiasm has served him well, as the label has enjoyed recent number ones from Logic and Big Sean, adding to the strength of a roster that ranged from Justin Bieber and Kanye West to 2 Chainz and Alessia Cara and newer artists like Bibi Bourelly, Kacy Hill, Dave East and Earl St. Clair. And it’s a measure of that success that he’s one of the keynote speakers at this week’s MIDEM Conference in the South of France, where on Wednesday he’ll discuss the legacy and profile of the legendary 33-year-old label that he helms.

[…] How about Justin Bieber, who just performed at Ariana Grande’s One Love Manchester concert and will be on tour all summer?
The remarkable thing about him right now is that he could be having the song of the summer without it being his own record – both the DJ Khaled [“I’m the One”] and Luis Fonsi [“Despacito”] records are massive right now, and we’ve got another one coming: We’re doing a new release on Friday with Bieber and David Guetta called “2U.” We’ll be working on in conjunction with Warner France — we’ll be taking care of it here. It’s a massive record, and it’s another song that’s gonna compete for song of the summer even though it’s starting later than the other two.
Is this single leading up to a new Bieber album, or is it a feature?
These in their own right are driving to this tour, and when artists are hot, all bets are off. Scooter [Braun, Bieber’s manager] and I constantly talk about strategy and what his step-outs are gonna be and what he’s doing them on and maybe something happens and maybe it doesn’t, but when you’re making so much noise and such big hits, you never know.
He’s had one of the most remarkable career reinventions we’ve ever seen. What do you feel your role in that has been?
He’s got amazing talent, his personality is infectious and he’s super-creative. And I’ve said this before, I think it’s very difficult to grow up in the world’s eye — you’re always being judged and always being looked at, it’s very hard to find an even line in that space. So what I try to be here, in conjunction with [Braun’s company] SB Projects, is a solid base We’re here to support him, our team and Scooter and his team are immersed together. And just look at the love these songs are getting, and then look at [this summer’s] stadium tour — two years after his “Purpose” album came out, he’s selling out stadiums.

Source: Variety

Source: Bieber News

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Def Jam CEO Steve Bartels Talks Justin Bieber’s New Single

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