“Never Say Never” by Justin Bieber (ft. Jaden Smith)
“Never Say Never” is acknowledged as helping to establish Justin Bieber as being along the lines of an inspirational artist, as opposed to one focused solely on romance. And with that in mind, what the title actually represents is the vocalist adopting a stance where he would never admit defeat.
In context (i.e. the chorus), it would appear that someone(s) is persecuting him, i.e. trying to prevent the Biebs from aspiring towards his goals. But as revealed in the verses, he’s not about to give up. In fact it can be ascertained that said individual is encouraging him to strive even harder.
Also, part of the singer’s confidence that he can prevail is founded in the fact that he’s already faced harrowing challenges, which beforehand he never imagined he could endure yet still emerged victorious from.
Now once Jaden enters the fray, it becomes more obvious that this piece was in fact inspired by “The Karate Kid“. “The Karate Kid” is a 2010 action flick in which Jaden starred. And considering that “Never Say Never” is actually the theme song of the said film perhaps this is a conclusion we should have come to earlier.
But anyway, with that understanding in mind, the aforementioned adversary can also be interpreted as a physical enemy of the singer’s. And not only that but Jaden notes that said individual has the advantage over him in that regard. But the vocalist namedrops several individuals who have inspired him to stand strong even when the opponent is intimidating. This includes the likes of his dad, Will Smith. He also mentions the following inspirations:
- NBA great Kobe Bryant
- young David of Biblical lore
- fictional character Luke Skywalker
And last but not least, he mentions of course, the Biebs himself as an inspiration.
So now we know that when Bieber comes back in and refers to being ‘knocked to the ground’ by the addressee, said addressee may well be someone he’s literally duking it out with in the ring. But of course neither he nor Jaden Smith are professional fighters in real world. This therefore gives this song a wider application. And what it ultimately speaks to, again, is most simply put never quitting. You should never give up, even if, by the looks of things, the challenge that lies ahead appears formidable.
Release Date of “Never Say Never”
With this track being officially released on 8 June 2011, Justin Bieber, who was born in March of 1994, would have been 17 years old at the time. In fact “Never Say Never” is one of the earliest songs in his lengthy discography. It is actually one of the tracks that helped establish the Biebs family-friendly image considering that for instance he went on to drop an autobiographical documentary named after it. In fact Justin Bieber: Never Say Never is actually the earliest major film in the Biebs filmography.
However, the song itself is primarily associated with the 2010 version of “The Karate Kid”. It is actually the theme song of the said flick. Smith, who was only 11 years old at the time himself, boasted a limited filmography but was afforded such a major opportunity due to being the son of Hollywood A list parents, Will Smith and his wife, Jada (Pinkett) Smith, who also co-produced that version of The Karate Kid franchise.
Jaden, as you likely already know, went on to establish a music career of his own – not as successful as his dad’s but a notable one nonetheless. And with the Biebs featuring Smith on “Never Say Never”, this is actually the earliest song in the latter’s discography.
More Facts about “Never Say Never”
The original, i.e. demo version of this song was produced and written by a duo known as The Messengers and sung by one Travis Garland, a singer from Texas. That rendition featured adult-oriented lyrics which were modified to be sung by the Biebs.
So at the end of the day, The Messengers retained their production credit. And the individual members of the pair, Nasri Atweh and Adam Messinger, are also credited as co-writers alongside Kuk Harrell, OmArr, Jaden, Will Smith and Justin Bieber.
The working title of this song, back in its demo days, was “Sexy Together”. And according to the aforementioned Travis Garland, he and The Messengers actually wrote it together, but ultimately, once the Biebs and co. took interest, they had cut him out of the equation.
Also interesting to note in light of what was mentioned above is that “Never Say Never” is the only multi-platinum hit in Jaden Smith’s discography. But by the time it came out Justin had already scored a few others, most notably 2010’s “Baby” featuring Ludacris.
The music video to this track was directed by an artist known as Honey. It actually features Chinese cinema legend Jackie Chan, i.e. scenes derived from “The Karate Kid, which were shot in Beijing.
The audio itself went on to be an international hit, most notably peaking at number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100. But its commercial performance was a lot more impressive, where it has for example been certified quintuple-platinum in the US as of the year 2020.
Justin Bieber began really teasing this song about a week before its issuance.
Bieber also named an album, which came out in 2011, after this track – entitled “Never Say Never: The Remixes”. And it was actually issued as part of the aforementioned documentary.
The Biebs actually utters the world “never” in this song a healthy 69 times.