Justin Bieber Explains What Kept Him Away From Music: ‘I Was Dealing With a Lot of Fear’

Justin Bieber admits getting back in the studio to record his first album in five years wasn’t easy. 

“I was dealing with a lot fear,” the singer told Zane Lowe in an interview with Apple Music, slated for release on Saturday (Feb. 15). “Just was afraid , at that point, just even the process; what am I going to talk about again, is it gonna be received. I’m starting to compare with other artists.”

Bieber releases his first album new music since 2015 on Friday with Changes, the follow-up to his Grammy-winning, multiplatinum album Purpose. While he married Hailey Baldwin last year, Bieber has also talked about enduring several challenges in the past few years, including dealing with depression, recovering from past drug use and contracting Lyme disease, which he says seriously affected his health.

Bieber says it wasn’t until he performed on stage with Ariana Grande last year at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and received an ovation that he got a “boost confidence.”

“It kind reminded me … this is what I do, this is what I’m good at, and I don’t need to run away from it,” he said. He said: “When something’s hard, it’s almost like we need to run towards the pain and run toward the hurt rather than run away from it. I think you get kind healing when it comes to that.”