Pop idol Justin Bieber’s summer tour means plenty of fun and hard work for Jan Smith.
The renowned local vocal coach, known lovingly in the industry as “Mama Jan,” keeps a close watch over the vocal chords of her young charge. “If you think about it, it’s like working with an athlete,” Smith told us during an interview the other day.
“It’s important that he warms up and cools down.” Working with a young singer is always a challenge, she said. “He’s 16, going through puberty,” said Smith, whose client list has included Rob Thomas, Ciara, Usher and Trey Songz. “We’re having to work around things that hormones are causing that we can’t do anything about.”
She predicts a seamless transition as he and his voice age, though, and said he’s a joy to work with. “He’s really a good boy,” Smith said. “He likes to play basketball, he’s kind of a prankster, he likes video games. In some ways he’s a very typical adolescent.”
But in lots of ways, he’s not. “It’s crazy to me that people want to know when he goes to the bathroom or when he stubs his toe,” Smith said. (A video clip of Bieber smacking his head into a door just about caused Twitter to melt down, remember).
And the kid’s rabid fans sometimes lead to tricky situations backstage. “It’s been embarrassing,” said Smith, who credits Bieber’s mom and managers with keeping the crazies away. “Mothers have offered themselves to security guards so their daughters can get close to Justin.”
All together now: Ewww.