He’s coming up on his 18th birthday in March, and Justin Bieber wants you to know he’s a baby (baby baby-oh) no more.
The singer recently chatted with V magazine in a wide-ranging interview about his work ethic, his relationship to God, and comparisons to another teen idol who grew up in the public eye. Find some of the most noteworthy quotes after the jump.
Justin Bieber wants you to know about:
-Religion: “I don’t think I’m religious. I am spiritual. I believe that Jesus died on the cross for my sins. I believe that he put me in this position, and that I have to always give him the glory he deserves for putting me here. But I don’t consider myself religious. A lot of people who are religious, I feel like they get lost. I am not trying to disrespect them at all, you know, whatever works for you; but for me, I focus more on praying and talking to Him. I don’t have to go to church. I haven’t been to church in a long time, but I know I have a relationship with Him. People can be like, “If you don’t go to church, what do you mean, how are you a Christian?” But I am. I talk to Him, and that’s all.”
-Michael Jackson: “I consider Michael Jackson the best. If I could be at his level… But I’ve got a lot of work to do. I’m not saying it’s going to happen within the next three years. But hopefully by the time I’m 30, people will remember me. I think people will remember me at this point, but I don’t want people to just think of me as a teen sensation. Because I could probably just sell out, and then in two years not put out another album, and just become Justin Bieber the teen superstar. But I don’t want to be that. I want to transition, and become the greatest.”
-Haters: ” I know a lot of people say they hate Justin Bieber who haven’t even listened to any of my music. They just hate me because they hate the idea of me. I’m young, I’m handsome—I don’t mean to sound conceited—but they think that I just got here because [of that], because I’m good-looking and girls like me, but the music isn’t there. Here’s the thing: my first album, I was 13 turning 14 when I recorded it, and I put it out when I was 14 or 15. It was my first time recording, and it turned out really well. We put it out, my fans loved it, but I was still really young. Then the second album came out, and I’d geared it mostly toward the fans. And I feel like the more I put out, people will realize it’s really good music, and they’re going to come. I’m not worried about the guy fans because they’re going to come. If they listen to the music and they like it, it doesn’t matter if they go and act like they don’t like me. They’re going to go home and listen to it.”
–Big Ambitions: “I’m going to be honest: I’m young and I’m not as disciplined as I need to be in order to be the best. If I have a day off, I need to be at the dance studio, [but instead] I’m hanging out with my friends because I’m young. But when I’m in my 20s and I’m starting to really want to be the best, I need to buckle down and work as hard as these other people. “
All Grown Up: “There are people who try to grow up too fast—they’re 18, so they’re like, I’m not a kid anymore. People need to know I’m not a kid anymore. But at the end of the day, I’m not completely grown up. I’m still learning. I’m going to grow up how I grow up. I’m not going to try to conform to what people want me to be or go out there and start partying, have people see me with alcohol. I want to do it at my own pace. But I’m never going to make myself so the kids and the parents don’t respect me.”
Rapping: “I don’t think people take me seriously doing it. I’ll just put it out so people will be like ‘that’s pretty tight.’ Like, just something I can do, but I don’t want to make a rap album. But I also want people to know that I write my stuff. No one writes my stuff for me. I write everything on my iPhone. And when people say, ‘Oh, Justin Bieber, he can spit but he didn’t write his stuff,’ they’re wrong. I do.”
Readers: This is generally pretty honest talk from a teen heartthrob. Do you think he has what it takes to transition to grown-up stardom in the next few years? Let us know in the comments below.