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  Entertainment   Music  10 May 2017  To Beliebe or not to

To Beliebe or not to

THE ASIAN AGE. | DYUTI BASU
Published : May 10, 2017, 12:02 am IST
Updated : May 10, 2017, 7:00 am IST

As the city gears up for Justin Bieber’s concert, city-based musicians try to decode the frenzy around the pop star.

Justin Bieber (Photo: AFP)
 Justin Bieber (Photo: AFP)

Justin Bieber may be considered by some to be ‘pop trash’ but, much like a Chetan Bhagat in the world of music, he is wildly popular. As the countdown to his concert begins, tickets are selling out faster than hotcakes and, indeed, seats in the Gold, VVIP 1 and VVIP 2 categories sold out almost as soon as the ticketing opened. The dual feedback of criticism and adulation has followed the singer ever since he came up with his first single Baby. The song faced flak from critics worldwide, but also garnered him a massive fan following from all fields. And the same can be said for many of his songs and albums that followed. While several city-based musicians are completely flummoxed about what makes Justin Bieber the pop sensation he is, a few others were able to shed some light on the matter.

Tushar Lall of The Indian Jam Project, which does Indian instrumental renditions of popular movie scores and songs, clearly stated that a Bieber tribute is not in the cards for him, unlike his Coldplay tribute last year when the band had come down. However, he does hand it to the pop star for creating a following even before R&B superstar Usher spotted him. “I think Justin was one of the first Youtubers to really make it big. So, he had his fan base readymade even before he was discovered by Usher,” he says, adding that the audience is also in favour of four-beat catchy repetitive songs, as opposed to more complex genres like jazz or blues. “In music, as with everything else, people are looking for comfort,” he says.

 

Siddhant Vernekar from Lawntuba, a band that concentrates on experimental pop and neo-psychedelia, agrees. “I think, his music is like fast food, which is basically a mix of salt and sugar. You eat it and you get a rush, and soon after your body ‘needs another fix’. I want music to be more thought provoking and it should stimulate my sensibility. While not everyone can be a John Lennon, I believe we need someone like Justin to fill in the void at times,” he says.

However, it is not just the music that sells, says Shanon Pereira of Shanon and the Silent Riot. The entire image is what matters, and here Bieber has successfully catered to his young teenage fan following. “He’s good looking, talented and he’s constantly touring, so even if his music is not your cup of tea, it’s impossible to ignore Justin Bieber. You either love him or hate him. Also, in today’s world, contacts matter, so the fact that he has Usher backing him goes a long way with people,” he elaborates.

 

Bieber’s image is something that fascinates Siddhant as well, with its careful planning of every aspect. “Everything, right from the kind of music, to the kind of haircut is targeted towards a certain age, which in his case is teenage girls, is manufactured. You either create an image, which everyone likes, or your do the opposite, which makes one curious. In Justin’s case it is the latter,” he says with a laugh.

For better or worse, Justin’s gang of Beliebers are definitely showing their support for his visit to India and today’s concert promises to be the concert of the year.

— Inputs by Somudra Banerjee

Tags: justin in india, justin bieber, justin bieber concert, chetan bhagat