Since his 2015 album Purpose, Justin Bieber hasn’t been super active musically. His most recent single as a lead artist is his 2017 BloodPop collaboration “Friends,” and last year, he appeared on Poo Bear’s “Hard 2 Face Reality” with Jay Electronica, and on DJ Khaled’s “No Brainer” alongside Chance The Rapper and Quavo. He’s kept a relatively low profile lately, but now, his new Vogue cover story with wife Hailey Baldwin Bieber (his first lengthy interview in over two years) offers a glimpse at how he’s feeling right now, and what he’s been through over the past few years.
For starters, it looks like he might not be putting new music out any time soon, because even the thought of it is stressful:
“Just thinking about music stresses me out. I’ve been successful since I was thirteen, so I didn’t really have a chance to find who I was apart from what I did. I just needed some time to evaluate myself: who I am, what I want out of my life, my relationships, who I want to be — stuff that when you’re so immersed in the music business you kind of lose sight of.”
Bieber also talked about the stretch a few years ago where he was doing controversial things and was the subject of media scrutiny, and said the shame he felt led him to a “pretty dark” period of drug use:
“I found myself doing things that I was so ashamed of, being super-promiscuous and stuff, and I think I used Xanax because I was so ashamed. My mom always said to treat women with respect. For me that was always in my head while I was doing it, so I could never enjoy it. Drugs put a screen between me and what I was doing. It got pretty dark. I think there were times when my security was coming in late at night to check my pulse and see if I was still breathing.”
He also said he hasn’t used a drug since 2014.