Justin Timberlake Explains How Fatherhood Impacted His New Music, Dishes on Pharrell Williams Collaboration
Justin Timberlake wants fans to know that he’s making new music with an entirely different phonic experience than his work in the past.
“I wouldn’t say [my new material] is the antithesis of [The 20/20 Experience], but it does sound more singular,” Timberlake said in a recent interview with Variety published on Monday. “If 20/20 sounded like it literally surrounds your entire head, this stuff feels more like it just punches you between the eyes.”
The 35-year-old multi-hyphenate entertainer is gearing up for the release of his new film Trolls, in which he both stars and serves and the executive music producer. Earlier this year, Timberlake released “Can’t Stop the Feeling!,” an infectiously catchy track off the animated family film’s soundtrack that ended up being one of the most popular songs of the summer.
The lighthearted pop single is already a far cry from the synth-heavy, more sonically complex tracks that Timberlake made famous with his 20/20 album, or his 2006 album FutureSex/LoveSounds. According to the new father, his 18-month-old son Silas was the inspiration for the upbeat tone.
“That song came together the way it did because I’d had a son at that point,” said Timberlake, who welcomed his little boy with wife Jessica Biel in April 2015. “It’s the sort of thing where you realize, ‘Man, there’s nothing wrong with putting some good vibes in the world.'”
As for when fans can expect the singer’s next big album? Timberlake says he doesn’t know when he’ll be finished, and he’s not in any rush to pump out his next hits.
“I think everyone I’m working with right now knows that I’m notorious for being like, ‘Yeah, let’s work. I have no idea when I’ll put it out, though,'” he explained. “I’ll put it out when it’s done — when it feels right.”
Currently, the “Suit & Tie” singer is collaborating with Pharrell Williams, who also spoke with Variety and revealed that the pair have already recorded a number of new songs.
“Songwise, I think we’ve got a good solid six that are like, ‘Whoa, what was that? Play that again,'” the “Happy” singer explained. Williams went on to share that Timberlake’s new music has been much more personal and introspective.
“I would pay Justin a huge compliment to say he’s just discovering who he is now,” Williams offered.
Timberlake said his laid back attitude toward the expediency of his recording career is “an effect of just enjoying my life more.”
“For a long time I lived my life for a lot of other people, or for the idea that those other people had an idea of me. And whatever — there’s a guy who’s gonna wake up tomorrow and transfer an organ from one body to another and save someone’s life, so what are we even doing?”
For Timberlake, his life changed when he got married and became a father, and he said it’s “important to discover that there’s work you can do where you get more time with your family.”
“As men, we’re always taught at a young age to be a man and have your priorities in order,” he added. “And you get to a point where you’re like, ‘It’s not about ‘being a man’ — it’s about fulfillment.’ Which is a totally different thing.”
Recently, ET caught up with Timberlake at the premiere of Trolls, where he opened up about how much his little boy already loves the animated movie and can recognize his daddy’s character. Check out the video to hear more.
Trolls hits theaters on Friday.