It’s safe to say that the pint-sized, chubby-cheeked ‘Baby’ singer of yesterday is no more. Justin Bieber is growing up right before our eyes, and at 17 — soon to be 18 — the teen idol will continue to demonstrate his newfound adulthood, starting with his 2012 album.

MTV News caught up with the Biebs’ vocal producer Kuk Harrell, who spilled on the evolution of the Bieber. “You know what, the only conversation we’ve had about Justin’s proper album that we’re about to do is it’s really important that it’s the proper transition because we’ve seen him [with] ‘Baby,’ now we’re watching him grow up,” the insider dished. “And we can’t just throw him into the adult game right away. It has to be the proper transition. There’s a record in between.”

By that account, the follow-up to the 2012 record should be 100% adult Justin Bieber, hairy chest, beard and all — but what that will entail, well, we’ll have to wait and see. Harrell says that this upcoming transitional release is especially important on the heels of the ‘Under the Mistletoe’ holiday album, which gave fans a first peek at Justin’s newfound deep vocals. “That was a huge thing going into this album. We were able to get a running start on where he’s at vocally ’cause it’s a natural thing. We can’t help it — his voice changed. We had to find out what he had in there and work it,” he said. “When his proper album comes out, everybody’s going to really be looking at that.”

That and, you know, his all-star collaborations. The Biebs is rumored to be working with Drake and the legendary Kanye West on the 2012 album, which doesn’t have a name or a release date just yet. Harrell promises, however, that Justin is “always willing to bring a new fire.”

Bieber is expected to release his latest video treatment for ‘All I Want for Christmas’ with Mariah Carey this week.

Watch Kuk Harrell Talk About Justin Bieber’s New Album

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