Bieber might not seem self aware, but he’s got a pretty solid grip on who he is.

[imagebrowser id=121]

Justin Bieber talks about being controlled, his dark past and Selena Gomez in his new interview with i-D magazine.

It’s nearly impossible to escape the promotional crush from Justin Bieber ahead of his album launch this Friday, Nov. 13. He appears in the new issue of i-D and gives an insightful interview about his past, where he’s at now and what the future has in store for him.

See pictures of Justin Bieber in i-D magazine on the main page of BreatheHeavy.

Here are some highlights:

Growing up Stratford, Ontario, Canada:
“It’s a pretty dope place, actually. But I can’t say I miss it much just because I don’t feel like I belong there. Everyone has a routine and does the same thing every day, goes to the same bar and sees the same people. I just can’t do that. My imagination and my creativity runs too wild.”

His dark phase:
“I don’t take a lot of managing, no,” he says, before reconsidering. “I did when I went through that… phase, for sure. He took the maddest things and put it in ways that made it seem less bad than it was. You know, that’s reality. I was hurting. I was in a pretty bad place.”

Manager Scooter Braun:
“Scooter is probably one of the smartest people that I have ever met. Very, very, very strategic. Always on. Always thinking of more things to do and more things to accomplish. He keeps me driven, for sure. Because the artist always wants to chill. Like, ‘I made my money. I just want to chill’. But he figures out ways for me to get excited about what I want.”

Owning his behavior:
“The reality is that people are human and people mess up and people go through trials and tribulations. It made me, myself, be more human to people.”

His lower voice:
“I think it’s more relatable now. When I had that young voice it was hard for people to connect. Dudes can listen to it now and say, ‘Yeah, I like that new Bieber song’.”

His dad:
“I’ll tell you a story. My dad actually, when he was younger, used to go to bars and tell people he was a Calvin Klein model.” He’d take his top off to prove it. “So now that I am one, he’s like, ‘Justin, you’re ******* crazy’.” Sometimes it even fooled folk. “My dad had a chiseled body back then. He had a crazy body.”

Trusting execs in the music industry:
“There’s a lot that don’t make it. There’s so many people saying that if you just do this and you just sign here, everything’s going to be fine, just don’t worry. And you’re young and you’re like, ‘OK, I trust you! You guys are nice to me. And you smile. And I think that you’re a good person’. You just don’t know their other intentions.”

Being controlled:
“As a pop star, people want to try and control you and they want to do it their way. Looking back I’m like, ‘Why was I even taking that person’s opinion?’ They know nothing about what I’m doing.”

His transition:
“People are really interested because of the transition from boy to man. It was tough because I had to really stick to my guns. I was like, ‘I’m going to fight it. I’m going to fight what you say, even if you guys are going to stop pushing my project. I would rather not be successful than let you steal this from me.’ Finally, I’d pushed for so long and been so consistent — ‘It’s either this way or it’s no way, you let me do this or nothing’ — that they let me do what I wanted to do.”

Changing his album to reflect where he’s currently at:
“I was in a different place and my music was reflecting that. When you’re in kind of a dark place you’re singing about kind of dark things. I don’t know if I’m ever going to release it. I probably will later. But I wanted to come back with hope.”

Selena Gomez:
“I think with that relationship… I put so much of myself on the line with her, because I was so distant with everyone else. So it’s like, you have the world who’s loving you but it’s not like they know my heart — they don’t know me. So when I found that love I was just like, ‘Woah, I want to hold on to this.’ And I just put everything into it and in reality there’s just no holding back. You’re just like, ‘This love feels so good.'”

Read the full interview here.

See pictures of Justin Bieber in i-D magazine on the main page of BreatheHeavy.

Thoughts? Let us know in Exhale!