Scooter Braun has been with Justin Bieber from the beginning. He’s the man who discovered Bieber at an early age on YouTube and helped launch the career Bieber has today. Braun recently opened in an interview with the New York Times discussing how Bieber’s apology tour started and how he helped the singer during that process. The talent manager also talks about his company SB projects, why Carly Rae Jepsen’s album didn’t sell well in the U.S., Ariana Grande’s first scandal, and what he learned from Adele which you can read here.
On starting Bieber’s comeback campaign:
I started to prepare. I put deals in place where he was protected for the long run. And I started to prepare my company to scale, because I was not going to let him work. [After “Journals,” Mr. Bieber’s 2013 digital compilation,] he wanted to tour, and I honestly at that time felt, if he toured, he could die.
I was trying to do that job for a year and a half, and I failed every single day. It wasn’t until something happened that it clicked for him. He made the conscious decision as a young man: ‘I need to make a change in my own life.’
I decided I needed six months of that. I looked at Robert Downey Jr. and all these people — when you ask for redemption, people will give it to you. But if you’re the boy who cried wolf, they’ll destroy you.
On how Bieber ended up on a Comedy Central roast:
I had a meeting in the office, and I said: ‘O.K., guys, these are some of my ideas. What person do you think Justin should do the intense sit-down interview with? Is it Katie Couric? Do we call Oprah and see if we can do a special?’ And Ava [Coleman] — 21 years old, at the time an intern — she said: ‘I just think my generation doesn’t care about that. I think if you want people to see that he’s for real, he should do a Comedy Central roast.’ And I went: ‘That is genius. Get it done.’ Twenty-four hours later, I was on the phone with Comedy Central.
On Bieber’s career troubles:
The outsiders don’t really know what was happening. It was far worse than people realize. And when he is ready, he will tell what he was going through. But it’s a hard thing to watch someone you care and genuinely love go through that. I’m really, really happy that’s over.