In 2008, Braun by chance stumbled across a video on YouTube, shot in 2007, of a tween boy with an impressive helmet of hair performing a convincing cover of Ne-Yo's "So Sick" at a local competition in Ontario, Canada (in which he finished second). And there were more clips where that one came from, diligently uploaded by the boy's mother.
Braun decided he had to get in touch with this Justin Bieber kid.
In one video Bieber was busking outside of a theater in Stratford, Ontario, so he called the theater. He found out where Bieber went to school and then called in hopes of getting in touch with the 13-year-old's mom, Pattie Mallette.
"He was very, very persistent," Bieber later remembered to Billboard. "He even called my great aunt and my school board."
Sure enough, Braun made contact and, before long, he was flying the impressive young singer (and his mom) out to Atlanta to record some demos.