Justin Bieber’s 18th birthday is still more than a month away (March 1, if you don’t have your calendar marked), but V Magazine got a jumpstart on the celebration, putting him on the cover of its music issue. In the accompanying interview, the always-cautious Biebs doesn’t reveal anything too earth-shattering, but he does show us just how ambitious he really is.
Asked what his goals are, Bieber answered frankly, “My goal at the end of the day — right now — I want to be successful and be great at what I do. But eventually, I want to become the best at what I do. I want to be the best. In the world. I want to be better than anybody that’s ever done it. And in order to do that, I need to strive to be the best, be good to people and treat people with respect, and work as hard as I can. Because for me, I work so hard and this consumes my life, and it’s not worth it if I’m not the best.”
The savvy singer says he isn’t content to be known as a “teen superstar.” He’s ready to put in the work for the long term, and reach Michael Jackson-like status by the time he’s 30.
And in response to the observation that MJ didn’t end up so well, personally, Bieber points out his advantage: “Michael had a really bad childhood. I was blessed with a great childhood. My mom loved me. My dad loved me. I’m now a teenager and I don’t feel like I’ve missed out on anything in my life. I’ve gotten to experience everything I possibly could. I don’t look back and think, Ugh, I wish I would have been able to do that. Maybe [Michael] missed out on a lot, so he tried to [re-live] his childhood when he was older. But I’ve got such good people around me, I’m not worried.”
Bieber doesn’t go so far as to say, like his mother has, that God put him here to inspire the world, but he does share a little bit of foresight he had as a kid. “When I was little, I did these things: ‘prophetic words,’ which is sort of like fortune-telling, but from God. They said in one of those tapes — when I was really young — that I was going to be the voice of the new generation. So, I don’t know what that means. It could just mean that I’m here to make music and inspire people.”