Friends

Album: Single release only (2017)
Charted: 2 20

Songfacts®:

  • Justin Bieber collaborated with his longtime friend BloodPop for this track about maintaining a friendship with a former lover after their relationship fell apart. Though Justin Bieber's voice is just about the only one we hear, BloodPop gets equal billing. It is one of the first major singles to feature BloodPop's name on the same line as the lead artist, though he released several singles as Blood Diamonds in 2010 and 2011.
  • American producer Michael Tucker, known professionally as BloodPop, first collaborated with Justin in 2015 for his Purpose album. (At the time he was using the moniker of "Blood.") Tucker contributed to five tracks including co-producing the 8-times platinum selling single "Sorry." The producer has also worked with several of pop music's glitterati, including Haim ("Want You Back"), Lady Gaga ("Perfect Illusion") and Madonna ("Devil Pray").
  • We hear BloodPop introduce himself at the beginning of the track. It is the first time that he has used his current or former name as a producer tag.
  • Justin Bieber and BloodPop co-wrote the song with Julia Michaels and Justin Tranter. The songwriting duo previously collaborated with the Canadian pop star on the writing of "Sorry." They have also penned hits for Hailee Steinfeld ("Love Myself") and Selena Gomez ("Good For You" plus several others).
  • Julia Michaels, Justin Tranter and BloodPop originally wrote this back in 2016. BloodPop recalled to Billboard:

    "The demo of it was kind of like a chill, laid back vibe, and we were trying to write it for another artist. I can't remember who it was.

    For a while, we were just going to put it out as Julia [Michaels], and then I was playing it for a good friend of mine, Josh Gudwin. He was the vocal engineer and one of the executive producers on Purpose. That's how Bieber heard it, and then Bieber kind of finished it and - much like the other songs on the last album where it came together very fast - it was like a whirlwind, and all of a sudden it worked out."
  • Bloodpop told Billboard his favorite lyric in the song is the opening line, "I was wonderin' 'bout your mama." He explained: "That's a certain thing that can be like, 'Is your mom happy?,' Because it's like, 'If she's happy, you're happy, and I care about everything that comes with your life.' I think that sets the tone for an earnest note of 'I actually care for someone,' because when you're friends with somebody, you're like, 'How's everything? How's your family?' So I like that line because it sets the tone."

    Bloodpop added: "It's a complicated notion, because when you date somebody - especially for an extended period of time - and you get to know their family, then you break up, and you have to delete all the people who came with that person out of your mind. I think that is part of the reason I like that line, because it's addressing all the baggage that comes with the breakup. I have friends who had that with their ex-boyfriends, where they really got along with the family, like, 'I really liked that guy.' And that's complicated when it ends."
  • Julia Michaels, who co-wrote the song, joined Justin Bieber and BloodPop for the official remix.

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