Justin Timberlake Drops Knowledge: 9 Things We Learned During his Zane Lowe Interview

Going deep with one of the most popular artists on the planet
Barrett Rouen

by Barrett Rouen

Published January 29, 2018

Justin Timberlake recently sat down for a long interview with Zane Lowe at Jungle City Studios in NYC ahead of the release of Man of the Woods.  The conversation, available from Apple's Beats 1 Radio, touches on a wide range of topics. 

Watch the full video above.  Here are 10 things that we learned: 

1.  Timberlake wrote on Beyoncé's Lemonade during what sounds like one of the most fertile studio sessions. 

Timberlake and Jay-Z recorded "Suit & Tie" and "Holy Grail" over 2 or three days.  As the story goes, Jay-Z came into the studio to do a feature on his 20/20 Experience and "three weeks later Magna Carta was like done." Sometime later,  Timberlake says he "co-wrote some tunes" with Beyoncé for her groundbreaking 2016 album, Lemonade.

2. Justin is on the Foo Fighters 2017 LP Concrete and Gold as a backing vocalist.

He explains, "After half a bottle of whiskey... I got brave enough but told [Dave Grohl] how important Nirvana was for me."

3. Man of the Woods is in Timberlake's words, "the most introspective record I've ever made." 

He suggests that "everything before Man of the Woods is aspiration, Man of the Woods really is inspiration."

4. Timberlake was inspired by Pharrell Williams to make a record that "put a positive thing out there about the south."

Pharrell shared a quote with Lowe about Justin's maturity as an artist,  "Justin is at a place in his life where he realizes anything he does has to have meaning." 

Justin, who is from Tennessee, explains the amount of time that went into the making of the record, saying, "This sound that came out of this album came out of two years of conversations talking about sound."

5. Man of the Woods includes Timberlake's first collaboration with Pharrell since 2002's Justified.

Timberlake explains that when he was on Jive Records there was a business problem between the label and Virginia Beach hip-hop duo Clipse who were affiliated with Pharrell.   The legal turmoil surrounding Clipse and Pharrell essentially made it impossible for Williams to work with any Jive artist.  Timberlake explains he was "extremely hurt" at the time.

6. The title Man of the Woods is inspired by the name of his son, Silas, which comes from a Latin root meaning "of the forest."

Timberlake shares a story of talking with Hugo from Neptunes about his son's name, Silas, and the meaning behind it.  In this interview, Timberlake shares, "I named [Silas] after my grandfather and my great-grandfather. My parents divorced when I was young, my grandfather was very much a father figure to me."  He didn't know the meaning behind the name until Hugo asked him about it.  Then he googled it and inspiration struck for the album title.  When you think about his name "Timber-lake" you realize that this is a guy with a lot of nature stuff in his heritage.

7. Timberlake may not be touring for long. 

The 36-year-old says that his body is struggling with the preparation for the tour and all the dance moves required for the stage show.  "It just hurts" he says when talking about the training and rehearsals.  Timberlake basically disappeared from music between 2008 and 2012 to focus on family and acting.  Could he go on hiatus again?

8. The new artist that he listens to the most is Travis Scott. 

"Travis... I'm a big fan of him."

9. Justin Timberlake doesn't care about fame.

When discussing fame, JT has an oddly down to earth approach. His philosophy was, "Fame is not a burden to me.  I really do believe it's a lie.  It's not really something that's tangible. You can't even hold onto it.  It doesn't matter."


At this time, only Part 1 is available and it is 36 minutes long. We will update the page when Part 2 is available (and you can follow Apple Music on YouTube).

For more music, news, and tour dates, check out Justin Timberlake's Zumic artist page


Justin Timberlake
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