Inside Track: Justin Bieber, Purpose

Secrets Of The Mix Engineers: Josh Gudwin & Andrew Wuepper

Since breaking through to an international audience in 2009 at the tender age of 15, Justin Bieber has at times demonstrated how not to grow up in public. Bieber’s fourth studio album, released last November, was thus a make-or-break proposition. Three years after his previous studio album, Purpose was to be his first fully fledged adult project, and likely career-defining.

Unsurprisingly, Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun, and record company took no chances, and explored all possible avenues to make sure the new album would be a success. Writing camps were organised, and Bieber spent time working with household names like Rick Rubin and Kanye West. In the end, however, Bieber reduced his team to the bare essentials: just two guys with whom he felt entirely at ease.

On the writing side, this meant a central role for Jason ‘Poo Bear’ Boyd, while Josh Gudwin held everything together on the studio and production side. This involved logistics, taking care of album A&R, engineering all the overdubs to the writers’ backing tracks, including Bieber’s vocals, mixing most of the songs, and in general being responsible for delivering the album. It earned him an unusual ‘album producer’ credit.

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