Southern, but modern.
Justin Timberlake is hard at work on a followup to The 20/20 Experience.
So far, we know the “Can’t Stop The Feeling” singer has enlisted a couple of familiar faces for the forthcoming LP, including Timbaland, Pharrell and Max Martin. He also previously explained in an interview with the BBC that he is not “making a country album, but I also don’t like to say that I’m making an R&B album.” JT expanded on that in a new chat with The Hollywood Reporter, describing the forthcoming material as a nod to his Southern roots.
“It sounds more like where I’ve come from than any other music I’ve ever made,” JT says of his new LP, adding that he was recently “caught up in a creative tornado” until three in the morning. “It’s Memphis. It’s Southern American music. But I want to make it sound modern — at least that’s the idea right now.”
Somewhere along the way, Timberlake’s sound made a shift. He said during a roundtable chat with Variety his next project is all-encompassing.
“I wouldn’t say [my new material] is the antithesis of ‘20/20,’ but it does sound more singular,” he said. “If ‘20/20’ sounded like it literally surrounds your entire head, this stuff feels more like it just punches you between the eyes.”
Other highlights from JT’s THR interview:
On being a father:
“You go through your life with your own traumas, big and small, and think, ‘It’s not that bad, I have a lot to be thankful for, my parents did the best they could,’ ” he says. “But then you have a child of your own, and suddenly it opens all the floodgates, and you’re like, ‘No, no, no! That childhood trauma really did f— me up!’ ”
On why he bailed on NSYNC:
“We were on a stadium tour, and I just felt like the whole thing was too big,” says Timberlake, explaining why he decided to bail. “It started as a fun snowball fight that was becoming an avalanche. And, also, I was growing out of it. I felt like I cared more about the music than some of the other people in the group. And I felt like I had other music I wanted to make and that I needed to follow my heart.”
Jimmy Fallon on his friendship with Timberlake:
“I was hosting by myself for the first time, and Justin was performing by himself for the first time, so we really bonded that night,” remembers Fallon, who was moonlighting from his job on Saturday Night Live to emcee the event. “Our dressing rooms were connected, and we were both pacing, trying to calm each other down. ‘You’re going to be great,’ ‘No, you’re going to be great.’ And we’ve just been pals ever since.”
On straddling the worlds of both music and film:
“I want to do both things,” he says. “I really do idolize the golden era of Hollywood, when actors were required to sing and move. But I’m just following my gut in the decisions that I make about what I’m going to do next. I’m mostly just glad this is all working out because I really can’t do anything else. I’m not gifted at anything else.”
On going on tour:
“Going on tour is a circus,” he says. “You set up the tents, you play the show, you tear the tents down and go on to the next place. It’s like Groundhog Day. After the 125th show, you feel debilitated.”