Island Def Jam Music Group confirmed today that JustinBieber will be heading into the studio starting May 15, 2013 to record a tribute album to Bob Dylan. “It will be a newand exciting direction for Justin” stated Executive Producer Scott “Scooter”Braun. Sources at Island Records confirmed that Bieber is looking for a more mature sound as he moves into his twenties. One source even hinted that some of Bieber’s recent erratic behavior (such as wearing a gas mask inpublic), is Justin’s way of getting into the protest song mindset.
Current plans call for an album of 12 Dylan covers, 2 Dylan inspired originals penned by Bieber himself, and a mega dance mix. Dylan has apparently signed off on the project, and is considering a duet with Bieber on “The Times They Are A-Changin’”.
Such career moves for young pop star are hardlyunprecedented. It will remain to be seen whether Bieber’s young Believers will follow him into the world ofcountercultural folk/pop music. It will also be a challenge for Bieber to convince music fans who have already writtenhim off as a teen (or tween) phenomenon to take him seriously. Having Mr. Dylan on board will obviously help on that end. It will be curious to see where this leads.