What Do You Mean?
Writer(s): Justin Bieber, Jason "Poo Bear" Boyd, Mason Levy (see lyrics here)
Released: August 28, 2015
First Charted: August 30, 2015
Peak: 11 US, 14 AC, 14 UK, 17, 14 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)
Sales (in millions): 6.0 US, 1.85 UK, 10.81 world (includes US + UK)
Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 2225.1 video, 1086.0 streaming
Awards: (Click on award for more details).
About the Song:
“What Do You Mean?” was the lead single from Justin Bieber’s fourth album, Purpose. The song debuted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 making for Bieber’s first U.S. #1. It was also his first time to ascend to the top in the UK and Australia. The song also hit #1 in Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and Norway. WK While the song only spent one week on top in the U.S., it logged 21 weeks in the top ten, tying Nicki Minaj’s “Starships” and Maroon 5’s “Sugar” for most weeks in top ten from its debut. Bieber surpassed himself when “Love Yourself” spent 23 weeks in the top 10. WK
The track was produced by MdL, who had collaborated with Beiber on his 2012 single “Boyfriend.” WK The tropical house song included “instrumentation consisting in light flourishes of panpipes, looped vocal samples, piano chords, fervent synths, bass and ‘slick beat’ elements…while Bieber uses a smooth, soulful vocal.” WK In an interview with Ryan Seacrest, Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun, described the song as “fun” and “summery.” WK
Lyrically, the song focuses on not being able to comprehend the opposite sex. Bieber told Seacrest, “Girls are often like, they’re just flip-floppy…they say something and then they mean something else, you know? So it’s like, I want to, like, ‘What do you mean?’” SF Jason “Poo Bear” Boyd, one of the song’s co-writers, had also worked with Whitney Houston, Usher, and Pink. SF
USA Today’s Carly Mallenbaum described the song as “a catchy dance track for the club.” WK A writer for The Daily Beast said the track was “a slow-burner that…swells into a Bieber banger.” WK Vanity Fair’s Josh Duboff said “Bieber sounds more relaxed and confident than perhaps ever before.” WK MTV News’ Gil Kaufman said it was “seductive, earnest, pleading, and just the right amount of sexy.” WK Idolator’s Mike Wass said Bieber “has never sounded better.” WK NME named it “the perfect pop confection.” WK
Resources and Related Links:
Last updated 4/2/2021.