Our not-so-secret love Justin Bieber has a new single—and it’s a major tune. While there’s no doubt that we will have “Friends” on repeat pretty much until Justin releases his next surefire hit, we need to address the question everyone has already been asking:
Is this song about Selena Gomez?
While “Friends” sounds upbeat, the lyrics are p. moody (“wonderin’ if you think about me, actually don’t answer that”), and it’s hiiiiiighly likely that Bieber is feeling some type of way about the one that got away. If he is talking about Gomez, WE HAVE ALLLLL THE FEELS!
Is it about selena? Lols
— AinaXbiebeR (@AinaGesmundo) August 18, 2017
Am I the only one who thinks Friends by Justin Bieber is for Selena? Ugh
— Katerina loves Cami (@Katerinakii12) August 18, 2017
Justin bieber wants to be friends with Selena Gomez sooooo bad
— kellie™ (@kelliehamrickk) August 18, 2017
As literally everyone knows, the fiery romance between Bieber and Gomez has been making headlines since before they were old enough to drive a car. Way back in 2009, when both these wee teens commenced their respective rises to stardom, Bieber’s manager and Gomez’s momager had a meeting to discuss possible collabos. So it’s easy to speculate that the following lyrics from “Friends” could be about Gomez’s mom, considering how long Biebs has known her:
I was wondering ’bout your mama
Did she get that job she wanted?
Let’s break that last line down for you: it totally makes sense that it would be about Mama Gomez (Mandy Teefey), considering she started her work on 13 Reasons Why the year she met Bieber and his team. Bieber likely knew about the Netflix release—and how dedicated Teefey was in her role as producer—way before any of us did.
Then there are the following lyrics, more clearly directed at his ex:
Girl, you wonderin’ why I’ve been calling?
Like I’ve got ulterior motives
Justin—can we be honest with you? After such a tumultuous past, chances are insanely slim that Gomez will jump back into any relationship with you, even a friendship. It’s just too damned late to say sorry. Fans might want you guys to rekindle your love story, but all of Gomez’s signs point to no freakin’ way.
The plea for friendship continues, and it becomes painfully obvious that this song is for Gomez:
No, we didn’t end this so good
But you know we had something so good
The turbulence of their on-again-off-again ‘ship forced an official, final breakup in 2014. The last time Bieber and Gomez actually interacted in public was an aggressive Instagram battle in 2016, which started when Bieber posted five consecutive PDA pics with his rumoured girlfriend Sofia Richie. When an onslaught of angry comments from devoted Selenators rained down on the Biebs’s social media account, he took it v. personally, to which Gomez said: “If you can’t handle the hate, stop posting pictures of your girlfriend lol—it should be special between you two only. Don’t be mad at your fans. They love you and supported you before anyone ever did.”
Ummmm… true? Bieber replied, “It’s funny to see people that used me for attention and still try to point the finger this way. Sad. All love,” but it was too late. The damage was done, and the fight culminated in Bieber temporarily deleting his account.
Despite the bad ending, fans held out hope for yet another on-again and it actually didn’t seem too far-fetched, especially when Justin ‘grammed this old #TBT.
A post shared by Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) on
While it’s obvious Bieber is down for trying again, Gomez has been mum about the whole thing since that time in 2016 when she crushed a fan’s sign that said “Marry Justin” mid-concert.
— Selena Gomez Source (@GomezSource) May 9, 2016
All that said, “Friends” is a total banger, so maybe this breakup has been a blessing in disguise—the gift that keeps on giving Bieber brilliant pop hits. The song was only dropped around noon yesterday, but it’s already got Beliebers across the globe bopping their heads. Seriously, in true pop star fashion, the Biebs made millions people freak the f-ck out.
The words can’t describe how much I’m proud of you it’s so BEAUTIFUL and LIT I love you. #friends
— Justin Bieber Stan (@JBCrew_Stan) August 17, 2017
While we lie in wait to see if Bieber will comment on who inspo’d the track, we need to give credit where credit is due. Pop genius songwriters Julia Michaels and Justin Tranter and producer Bloodpop made this track possible, complete with the same pulsing bass line that makes all of Justin’s hits certifiably dance floor-ready. In other words, this ditty is about to carry you and all your party plans into the weekend.