Dan Kanter has been Justin Bieber’s musical director for the last five years, and says he still can’t believe his dream gig. Over the summer, the Toronto-based guitarist has made frequent trips home to sit as a judge on YTV’s The Next Star – an Idol-type talent contest for JBs in waiting. Here, Kanter shares some of the secrets to his un-Beliebable success (including his best advice for you-know-who)
Even small projects have big pictures
The best advice I’ve ever received was probably from my father. I grew up going to a lot of musicals because my dad was a director of musical theatre. What he taught was to always look at the big picture of a show. Even when I’m just listening to music, I listen to the music and lyrics, of course, but I’m also considering the production, the musical significance of what I’m listening to. I’ve always been fascinated by how music works with lights, wardrobe, dancing. My friends in my high-school band used to make fun of me. We’d be rehearsing for a show and I’d say, guys – this is the moment where there would be a big explosion and they’d be like, we’re playing in the cafeteria. One of my favourite Bieber songs is called Down to Earth. I remember the first time Justin played it for me: It started with just a piano intro and instantly I pictured him sitting at this white grand piano that rose out of a trap door in an opera sort of fog. I can’t believe we were able to do it, but we were. It was awesome.
Every moment is the moment
I’ve been thinking a lot about Dead Poets Society over the past few days and of my 11th-grade teacher, who taught me “carpe diem.” I’m the kind of person who’s always looking ahead to the next thing, always thinking about new projects, new challenges. That being said, it’s so important to be able to be in the moment and love the moment that I’m in, whether that’s the recording studio, writing lyrics, on stage. On the last Bieber tour we would always play this song, One Less Lonely Girl. My part on guitar is somewhat simple, so I really made an effort to look out and scan each section of the crowd and really think about and appreciate where I am in this very moment.
Don’t get distracted by the bright lights
The best advice I’ve ever given to Justin is to put the music first. He is such a great musician, performer, writer. It can be easy to get distracted by the bright lights, but ultimately he’s in it for the music, not the fame. I think for him there are so many distractions – not just lately but for the rest of his life he can’t escape the media. We talk about how it’s so important for him to remember the kid in his bedroom posting videos on YouTube and dreaming about this. I think at the end of the day, his fans love him the most for the music, even more than his charm and good looks. That’s what’s going to live on, not the things you read in the headlines.
Belieber and proud of it
I’m totally proud if people want to identify me as Justin Bieber’s musical director or Justin Bieber’s guitar guy. That’s who I am. I’ve been with Justin for a half decade now and the team is like family. I’m lucky that this has given me the opportunity to do other stuff – being a judge onThe Next Star, making music with Bob Weir from the Grateful Dead. Being the front guy is not something that I ever wanted. I care about being respected by people in the industry, but I love being behind the scenes, being the silhouette and still getting to be such a part of everything. The fans, the Beliebers, are really the best. Even when they’re singing Baby outside the hotel all night and I get no sleep, I still love them.
Source: The Globe and Mail
@lukebroadlick: #Rare moment | #BELIEVEtour |
@hellokaili: Fbf outta town squirrels @theofficialsalemahg 👅🌎😩
iam_vernonb: #tbt Right before I got up on to stage to sing ! #allaroundtheworld @justinbieber #imDARKinthisphoto #NONEofthefiltersworked
jonboogiee: #tbt I truly miss sharing the stage with my brothers. #BelieveTour Did you guys grab your copy of the DVD on ITunes?!?!?!
@jonboogiee: #fbf we couldn’t hear you. #Believe
JBLAZEOfficial: #tbt I miss the stage! #believetour
@carlenabritch: #BelieveMovie premiere tomorrow! I can’t wait to watch the journey of @justinbieber & our tour family on the big screen. 😍 #MamaWeMadeIt
jonboogiee: I’m excited to finally see the #BelieveMovie tomorrow.. It’s gonna be a fun Premiere 😱😱 Be sure to check it out on #ChristmasDay
Pictures unlocked from the 7th fan package on the Believe movie’s official website!
Request Believe Movie In YOUR City!
Hey everyone! We’ve been working hard on putting together an organized list of theaters throughout ALL of America to help make it easier for you to call and request Believe in YOUR city! The theater chains listed directly below are the headquarters for various theaters in various states, and demanding the Believe movie to them could really help get their chain of theaters to play Believe around the country! Please make sure you share this guide with all your friends and followers, so we can get all these theaters to play Justin’s movie, using any of these links:
Below the theater chains you will find an alphabetically organized list of states, followed by cities and their corresponding local theaters, along with a phone number and social media page for you to contact. We want everyone to be able to to see this movie and if we work together, we can make this happen! Since the movie is only in theaters for a limited time, start requesting now!
Note: If you can’t find your city, send us a message here.
@MikeTakesStills: And just like that, it’s done
December 8: Justin performing ‘All That Matters’ in Perth, Australia
Justin has finally just concluded his 2nd world tour on December 8th…and he’s only 19!! The emotions were mixed after the last show, but Justin has a new plan set in motion to continue to always satisfy us with the release of his “Journals” album which will have 5 exclusive songs to add to the music Mondays collection.
But let’s reflect one last time at Justin’s accomplishments and memories of his Believe Tour:
- In 2012, the tour placed 23rd on Pollstar’s “Top 50 Worldwide Tours”.
- In 2013 the tour was honored again in 2013. It ranked 5th on Pollstar’s “Top 100 Worldwide Tours—Mid Year”
- It went to 6 different continents and was a total of 157 shows long!
- Justin also became the first recording artist in Make-A-Wish history to grant 200 wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions on the tour!
- Justin also received his first ever Diamond Award during the Newark, New Jersey. Baby, was certified 12x platinum, becoming the highest ever certified single in US history!
- In October 2012, Justin shot to the Billboards #1 Hot Tours with the Box office revenue topping $6.2 million only from the first 80,569 sold tickets, according to tour promoter AEG Live.
- In January 2013, Billboards bets put Justin on the list that signified Justin as one of the main acts to see on a tour.
- The tour has grossed more than $155 million from the first 124 shows and $1 from every ticket sold was donated to Pencils of Promise!
- He has made another movie based on his travels and experiences on the Believe Tour set to release on Christmas Day!
If you’re not quite ready to let go of the Believe Tour just yet, keep requesting and you could see your very own experience on the big screen on Christmas day! Thank you Justin and the crew for putting on a performance of a lifetime!