“My motivation for The Book Of Nabeel will be just growth, showing growth,” Poo Bear tells HollywoodLife in an EXCLUSIVE video interview. Poo Bear (b. Jason Boyd) is one of the most successful songwriting and production talents of the last twenty years, having worked with 112, Usher, Kelly Rowland, Fat Joe, Chris Brown, J Balvin, and – most notably – Justin Bieber. “I’ve had a lot of success; I’ve written a lot of songs,” says Poo Bear, an understatement considering his body of work has racked up sales of over 350 million records worldwide, multiple platinum certifications, and streams in the hundreds of billions. Yet, with his new album, he wanted to push himself even further as a creative artist.
“This project was done with a really dear brother of mine named Nabeel, and these poems come from his heart,” says Poo Bear. “We were able to take them and turn them into amazing songs. In doing so, you know, I just saw so much growth — in my voice, in my performance, and my melodies. “I was like, you know, what, this is amazing; we should actually put this out.”
Instead of casting this work into “the music abyss,” as he says, Poo Bear wanted to shine this new light on the world. “It’s like a new template of the music that you can do. Everybody kind of gets stuck in these cliche formats and song structures, and The Book of Nabeel steps outside of that box.”
The album also marks a very personal achievement for Poo Bear. With such a track record, he could have stayed behind the boards and comfortably rode off into the sunset with this Hall of Fame-worthy career. Yet, he did what many are afraid to do and put himself out there as a performer. Though Poo Bear sings with soulfulness and confidence in The Book of Nabeel, he tells HL that it wasn’t always like that.
“I was not always confident as an artist, and [it had to do with my obesity and a lot to me being overweight,” says Pooh Bear. He says that thinking about “what other people were thinking about me” resulted in him getting to a point where he “enjoy[ed] hiding in the studio and living vicariously through different artists that were singing the songs and bringing them to life.”
During his recent fitness journey, Poo Bear noticed a change in his demeanor. “During the last three, four years, I just noticed my own confidence go up a lot just based on my size, being able to wear the clothes that I desire, and being comfortable.” Working to get to a point where he was happy in his skin led to greater happiness behind a microphone. Pooh Bear says he feels “confident that I could go out on any stage, around the world, and sing my heart out.”
Check out the above interview for more, including how Poo Bear pushed himself “sonically” as a producer on his new album.