Zane Lowe has just interviewed Justin Timberlake in his first interview on his first album in nearly five years, 'Man of the Woods’, on his Beats 1 show. Check out some highlights below.
On his upcoming new album, ‘Man of the Woods’:
It's definitely the most introspective record I've made. I think every album that I've done before that was about aspiration and like how can I pay homage to my influences. You know like oh 'Suit & Tie', it's not about expensive taste but it is about class, why not aspire to that...I talk about everything before 'Man of The Woods' is aspiration and then 'Man of The Woods' really is inspiration because when you have kids all of a sudden you're faced with your own childhood, good and bad. And am I going to completely mess this kid up. I feel like the success of parenthood is feeling like I failed all day today, but I get to wake up tomorrow and do it again. You know and hopefully they turn out to be a good human being.
On the sound on the album and working with Pharrell Williams again:
The funny thing is this sound that ended up on this album came out of like two years of conversations with Pharrell. Talking about sound and talking about this real estate, there's this sonic real estate that's so available. And he kept pushing me and pushing me to say, no but you're the guy that has to do it because you're from there. You're from the south, you can put like a positive thing out there about the south and we can do it with a sound and I can hear it. He kept telling me, I can hear it. And when Pharrell says that, you never fight against that, right?
On why he didn’t work with the Neptunes between his debut and new album:
I was not able to work with Pharrell out of — and I've got to say this the right way because I want to blame anybody for anything but it did change the course of things for a minute. Everyone remembers Clipse. Clipse was signed to Jive Records, which I was signed to. I don't know what went on with their deal, but I do remember that Pharrell was very adamant about getting them out of the deal. So it became from my understanding, it became challenging for him to work with any Jive artist at that point. If I'm being totally honest about it I was extremely hurt being caught up in the middle of it but at the same time I had a sh**load of money stolen from me by somebody else when I was in the group, I had already gone through legal troubles and I kind of felt like I'm at this point where I feel like I have so much ahead of me, I don't want to be in the middle of the record label and somebody that I consider a friend. So I feel like I kind of removed myself from the situation.
On working with the Neptunes on his debut album:
That was the first time I felt like a young adult, like really, And I could really express myself, so I was really open. I was a still extremely impressionable but trusted my instincts that I was around the right people to put the impression on me. You know, Pharrell and Chad and Timberland mainly on that record. The funny thing is I remember being in N’SYNC or right before and “Supa Dupa Fly” came out and I’m walking around BFE, Tennessee, you know small town USA, like you guys don’t understand. This is future of music. This is unbelievable. Midnight Marauders was very important for me. That syncopation, it always stuck with me. At the same time too, you're trying to figure out who you are. You mentioned Dave earlier, I literally pushed my way onto singing just some la la la’s on The Foo Fighters record because I had this whole —and this is after the whiskey again when I got brave enough— But I told him how important Nirvana was for me because I was so young and just that attitude, like everything everyone's telling you may not be right. So yeah like it came full circle because you know, if you ask Pharrell who’s the most important, he'll tell you A Tribe Called Quest. You know that influenced him more than anyone. I don't know, maybe there's just something in the water across the bible belt, because I just felt like a freshman in college looking up to these guys that had already graduated. I think that's the way I felt on the first album and sort of discovering really who I was as a songwriter as well, to collaborate with them in that way.