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Justin Timberlake Reveals Why He Came Back Now

February 14, 2013 | Posted by Joseph Lee

Justin Timberlake spoke with two high school students for Rolling Stone about his new album, The 20/20 Experience. Here are highlights:

On why he came back now: “This is one of those times when stuff gets projected onto you. I would have taken a break regardless of if I would’ve done films or not because my last record was all-consuming and to go on tour like that, for me, I will not be the type of artist that puts out 10 to 15 albums. That’s just not who I am. They’re really special to me. I write music all the time, but until you really feel that desperate need to shout from the rooftops and express yourself in that way, I just kind of keep it to myself. I enjoy making music so much that if it doesn’t come out, that’s okay. If I get to listen to it in my car by myself, I’m just as happy because I get to hear something that I made. I’m not so caught up in the fact that you have to be in the center of attention. For me, when I do have something that I’m ready to express, I’m gonna burrow through whatever to get it heard. But for me, the journey along the way is really the most fun part; it’s not about the outcome. It’s really about making something that feels authentic. That’s the one place you can do that.”

On what making music means to him: “[The studio] really is one place that you can still go to that you can be completely free, at least in my opinion. You can lock yourself in a room and make a whole other world. I’m 32 and I still love it as much as I did when I was 18, so that should tell you amazing how it is.”

On how acting has affected his music: “In some ways, it’s made me take a slightly different approach to storytelling in some of my songs. I’m gonna put a lot of music out over the course of the year and some songs have become really concept-driven; some songs have become a simple idea that turns into something big. And songs, you write them different every time; you get an idea for a song and you go, “Okay, I want to turn this idea into something.” And then you wait until you feel like the accompaniment that you’re creating or sometimes you take a completely different approach, where the accompaniment starts first, the arrangement starts first, and you’re like, “Oh.” It gives you a melody idea and then for some reason the melody you start singing starts turning into words, like “Push Your Love Girl.” I look back at my last album; to me, that was a character. I don’t wear three-piece suits every day (laughs); I’m not always on my suit and tie. There’s a time and a place for everything, but when you hear it and you see it, all of a sudden the visual comes into place.”

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Joseph Lee

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