He has mentored his career for eight years but Usher has not impressed protege Justin Bieber with his attempts at producing EDM. In a candid interview with Complex magazine, Bieber takes credit for opening new doors in the dance world but some have accused the singer of being "shady" about his close friend in the process.
Marking his return to music after a hiatus, Bieber, 21, collaborated with Skrillex and Jack U on the song Where Are U Now, which peaked at number three in the UK and number eight on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. Addressing his new musical direction, the What Do You Mean? singer said: "I've gotten all of these different modes, and try to dive into different ideas, and I finally came up with something that was pretty genius. I have these collaborations with Skrillex and Diplo, like Where Are U Now that just took off. This is their first top 10 record. It just shows that we're breaking barriers in the EDM world."
However, he then appeared to take a dig at Usher, 36, who is known for experimenting with dance music having collaborated with the likes of David Guetta and Martin Garrix. Bieber added: "I think people have been trying to do it for a while, making dance music, like Usher and all of those people, but I don't think it's been done in the right way."
Watch the music video for Justin Bieber's single Where Are U Now:
After the interview was released, one Twitter user was quick to defend Usher, tweeting: "Justin Bieber is shady. How dare he talk down on Usher!" Referencing Usher "discovering" a teenage Bieber, another user commented: "Oh no he didn't, I'm shocked SMH soon we forget where we come from." One other chimed in: "In his Complex interview, Justin Bieber said no one has created dance music very well, not even Usher. The man that put him on."
Climax singer Usher is believed to have discovered Bieber in 2007 when the pop star was aged just 13 and the pair have maintained a close friendship over the years, even collaborating on the song Somebody To Love in 2010. Usher has been forced to publicly defend the youngster on multiple occasions in the midst of scandal and he told Billboard of their friendship in 2014: "He's making his own decisions and it's important to show support.
"I can say I'm not happy with all the choices my friend has made, but I'm supportive of him. I try my hardest to give as much positive reinforcement as I can. I'll punch him in the f*****g chest when I need to, and give him a hug and kiss when I need to. It's more than just mentoring. I love the kid."