Justin Bieber's long-time manager says he's "just like Bob Dylan"

"He pissed people off, but whenever he switched, he reinvented himself in a way that made him who he is today”

By Colin Gorenstein

Published June 12, 2015 8:09PM (EDT)

Justin Bieber          (Reuters/Jonathan Alcorn)
Justin Bieber (Reuters/Jonathan Alcorn)

Scooter Braun, long-time manager of Justin Bieber, is reminded of rock icon and "voice of a generation" Bob Dylan when he looks at the troubled pop star's turbulent career trajectory.

The 33-year-old, who has managed the likes of Ariana Grande and Carly Rae Jepsen, has more recently "forayed into the dance-music business" and was interviewed by Billboard about the changing tide of EDM. More specifically: what it was like working with Bieber at the EDM festival, Ultra, where he performed the hit,”Where Are Ü Now” as part of Skrillex’s set.

Braun told Billboard:

“Justin laid down that vocal in the studio on a piano, and I didn’t know what to do with it. I saw Diplo in a club and he told me he and Skrillex were working on this Jack U album. Those guys ran with it, and now they have this huge record all around the world. There was a nice moment backstage at Ultra: Martin [Garrix] pulled Justin aside and said, ‘Listen, man, I don’t know what’s going to happen out there on that stage, but I’m really glad you’re doing this.’… It’s like Bob Dylan: He pissed people off, but whenever he switched, he reinvented himself in a way that made him who he is today.”

Sure, we know Biebs has pissed some people off in his 21 years (see also: that time he egged his neighbor's house, tried to rob a woman at a batting cage, spat off his balcony over a bunch of fans, etc.). And sure, we know that he's turned a new leaf and "reinvented" himself.

But what about the music? EW speculated that the comparison Braun was attempting to draw had something vaguely to do with Dylan's move to "electric" in 1965. Pop music to EDM -- same thing!

Read the full interview via Billboard here.

Colin Gorenstein

Colin Gorenstein is Salon's assistant editor of internet and viral content. Follow @colingorenstein or email cgorenstein@salon.com.

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