The Feeling

Album: Purpose (2015)
Charted: 34 31

Songfacts®:

  • This moody track finds Justin Bieber questioning whether he's in love, or just in love with the feeling. He is joined on the chorus by Halsey, marking the "New Americana" singer's first collaboration with another artist. It was Bieber's manager, Scooter Braun, who connected the two.

    Prior to hooking up with Bieber on this track, Halsey had been resolute about not doing songs that she didn't write. The songstress explained to MTV News why she decided on this collaboration: "Sonny [Skrillex] sent me this song, and my manager was like, 'Justin asked Scooter [Braun] if you would hop on it. They seemed pretty adamant about it, and I was like 'Oh that's weird."

    " I listened to it and the version I listened to was just him singing at first and I was kind of like, 'Holy s–t, this song is amazing,' and then it got to the pre-chorus and he said 'jagged like a pill so hard to swallow' and I was sold. Because I spent my whole childhood listening to Alanis Morissette." (Halsey is referencing Alanis Morissette's 1995 best-selling album, Jagged Little Pill.)
  • Halsey had created am honest, authentic image with the release of her New Americana album and she insisted that by collaborating with Bieber she wasn't selling out to mainstream music. "I don't feel like I compromised any sort of integrity," she said. "I don't feel I will get another opportunity as perfect as this, and Sonny was really, really awesome in the production and the styling of the collaboration, making sure it was equally my style as it was Justin's because it's a scary thing for me because coming up as an alternative artist and then kind of slowly making this breach into the mainstream and then out of nowhere, this collaboration with Justin Bieber."
  • This was one of five songs on Purpose helmed by Skrillex. The Californian producer commented to NME: "It probably has the most layers of any record I've worked on in a long time. It was a challenge. Halsey cut her vocals somewhere else. We'd been pen pals through Twitter and we would Facetime each other cool ideas and mixes, and I would get her opinion on a mix before finishing it."
  • One thing Halsey learned from her collaboration with Justin Bieber is how quickly it can go from having never met an A-list star to having the world think she's dating them. The singer told Rolling Stone; "My mom texted me, 'Are you dating Justin Bieber?' I was like, 'Mom, what the f--k? Don't you think I would tell you?'"

    "But when we performed on the Today show, it was just so real, so emotive, so evocative - two people connecting in this love song," Halsey added. "There was a moment where I think he and I were both kind of like, 'Are we... Are we... is this real?'"

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