Justin Bieber’s raw and emotionally honest track “Lonely” almost didn’t happen. Producer and artist benny blanco shared with Ryan Seacrest on-air on Thursday, October 22, the track only came about because of their close relationship.
“We all wanted to make a song together — I’ve been working with Justin since 2009 so lots of history there — [and] FINNEAS? Why not. He’s the best in the world and we were actually writing another song and it was almost time to go and I was like, ‘FINNEAS, come on, I want a ballad. Let’s do one of the ballads.’”
Benny continued they'd been working with Bieber from their respective homes amid COVID-19 quarantine, with Bieber in Canada, where he recorded the track.
“It’s such a difficult song,” benny shared. “I would talk to Justin about it and I feel it's hard for me to listen to this song and I don’t think if we all weren’t so close we would have been able to get this song out because it’s so emotional and so raw.”
Benny, who is behind hundreds of hit tracks including Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” and Halsey’s “Eastside" to name a few, continued that Justin’s life in the spotlight has no doubt been difficult.
“Justin has a different life,” he explained. “Most people they make a mistake, and their mom says ‘Hey, I’m disappointed in you.’ … Justin makes a mistake and it’s on CNN the next day. … He grew up in such a strange set of circumstances.”
At the end of the day, benny shared they hope the song resonates with everyone, no matter who and where you are.
“Everyone suppresses their feelings,” he added. “… One of his biggest challenges was like himself because he has to put on for all these people all the time and it’s like who does he get to go to? When does he get to have that moment? … Sometimes you just want to take off that cape and use it as a little tissue. … I think the bravery for him to put the song out because it's like if one kid in like Wichita is like ‘Justin goes through the same things I do.’”
Watch back the full interview in the video above for more, including to hear why benny only works with friends and why he thinks he and Seacrest would make great co-parents. Plus, benny teases the next artist on the rise you need to know about is Australian teen The Kid Laroi.