RADIO.COM LIVE Check In: Benny Blanco tests celebrity waters with latest Bieber collaboration

'I love being the center of attention for my friends, but I don’t really love it for the world'

Benny Blanco’s production wizardry has pulled back the curtains to reveal a new spotlight on the award winning producer. But the new focus doesn’t necessarily sit easy with the artist. “I love being the center of attention for my friends,” Benny told RADIO.COM’s Julia during a RADIO.COM LIVE Check In this week. “But I don’t really love it for the world.”

Blanco spent most of the 2010’s behind production boards, weaving together the sound of popular music for big time artists like Ed Sheeran, Halsey, Kanye West and most recently working on Justin Bieber’s single “Lonely.” It was a project fraught with collaboration from the beginning.

“We were writing another song, me and FINNEAS, and we had been talking a lot with Justin,” he says. Casual conversation between two artists turned into an all-out love fest. “FINNEAS is such a big fan of Justin and Justin is such a big fan of FINNEAS, and I’m a big fan of FINNEAS and FINNEAS is a big fan of me. We’re one big happy love triangle.”

The only problem was that Justin remained quarantined in Canada due to the coronavirus, so he was forced to cut vocals for the track across the border. Benny says an international border couldn’t stop the pure emotion from leaking through this single. “It’s a hard song. Justin told me, ‘It’s even difficult for me to listen to this song.’ I’m so happy he was brave enough to release the song and let people hear it,” he shared with Julia.

Benny says it’s all part of the low key banality of Bieber’s character as a person and performer. “People look at Justin as this larger than life character and his life has been so publicized. If Justin does something wrong it’s on CNN the next day,” he laughed about.

“It’s something he really needed to get off his chest and if I can help someone like him do that, that’s like a super win.”

Blanco dug deeper with his appearance in the subsequent music video, giving fans a behind the scenes look at the production. The two artists play socially distant ping pong, rigged with protective masks. "It's COVID-time, we're wearing masks, you made me take this off for the thing, I feel a little threatened, I don't feel great,” Benny tells the camera.

Speaking in the same vein, Benny told RADIO.COM’s Juila that social distancing during the coronavirus has eased the blow of sudden stardom for the producer. “I don’t go outside, so it’s easier. It’s the best time to be in the spotlight because you don’t have to go outside,” he jokes. “That’s why they’re the artist and I just make the songs. I can’t do what those people do.”

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