For years, the world has been begging and pleading. Music just hasn’t been the same without him. It’s the comeback everyone’s been anticipating and now the wait is finally over…Justin Timberlake has finally returned to his pop star roots!
And if there’s one thing we know about Justin, it’s that he never does anything halfway.
First, he turned the music biz upside down with the release of his latest hit, “Suit & Tie,” then he booked a gig at the GRAMMYs, and now he’s sold out the Hollywood Palladium within minutes for one of his very first concerts since getting back into the game.
Because Justin loves his fans so much, he’s personally arranged a special night out on the town for a few very lucky AMP Radio listeners!
“I was trying to think of some fun stuff to do and I thought to myself like, ‘How many fans have ever gotten to go into the STAPLES Center and see the actual rehearsal for the GRAMMYs and get to see all the artists perform and go through their rehearsals?” Timberlake told Booker Monday morning. “That’s where we came up with this concept.”
“Then the nice people at the W in Hollywood, they’re going to give us a huge VIP private suite decked out for everybody to go watch the GRAMMYs on a probably semi-to-humongous-sized screen…If we can get IMAX inside the W, I’m going to make it happen!”
Alright, hold up! Just to recap, Justin’s hooking up winners with exclusive access inside the GRAMMYs dress rehearsal and then afterwards you’ll be whisked off to the W Hotel for a swanky viewing party, but that’s not all!
“GRAMMY night, Sunday night, I’m going to play a one-night-only show at the Palladium and obviously I’d love for the contest winners to be my guests at the show. It’s going to be a fun one.”
While Booker had JT on the phone line, he asked the 32-year-old superstar the question that’s been on everyone’s mind: What took him so long?
“Well, I don’t like your tone! I’m just kidding!” Timberlake laughed. “You know what it is, man? This album, I’ve been working on it for a little under a year. I just kind of keep it to myself until I feel like, you know, it’s ready to come out.”
Justin’s never been one to follow the pack. With retro influences from Otis Redding and Al Green, “Suit & Tie” sounds unlike anything heard on the radio these days and JT explained that The 20/20 Experience will explore all sorts of different genres.
“With ‘Suit & Tie,’ to me, that was just the wink. We haven’t even gotten to the nice restaurant yet.”
If “Suit & Tie” is just the tip of the iceberg, then we’re in for quite a treat when Timberlake’s album drops on March 19. This first single shattered records, garnering the most first-week plays on radio as well as generating the highest track debut by a male artist.
Justin spoke about the pressure to deliver yet another top-notch album this time around.
“‘SexyBack’ [was] lightning in a bottle. Trying to put out a record that has an impact like that. It really is lightning in a bottle. I just hope people like the record. It’s definitely a little bit of a departure, but kind of like you pointed out, my second album was a departure from my first album,” he explained. “At the end of the day, it’s just music. You try to go in and not over-think it and just make something that feels honest.”
As of right now, not much is known about the tracklisting and possible collaborations on The 20/20 Experience, but Justin did share how the classic, “Get out your seat, Hov” lyric was born inside the studio with Jay-Z.
“I had kind of finished the verses and I was going in to record them and he was kind of sitting in the room working, kind of freestyling to himself. And then he came up with a line he really liked and he jumped out of his seat and he said, ‘Uh oh! Get out of that seat, Hov.’ And I just thought it was so funny. It made me laugh. I was standing right beside him when he did it and so I just put it on the record, more or less as a joke to him.”
“Not to compare ourselves to those guys, but just the fun that they had,” Justin described. “I was picturing like, being at the Sands in Vegas and saying like, ‘Oh, Jay-Z’s in the house tonight. Uh, let’s have him come up and do a number. Why don’t you go ahead and get out of your seat, Hov?’ That’s more or less where it came from.”
JT may be taking cues from the past, but he also couldn’t be more thrilled to focus on the future.
“For me, it’s exciting to be back. It’s so special and to be honest, this album, for me, it’s definitely the best work that I feel like I’ve ever done, so I’m really excited for the world to hear it.”
-Sarah Carroll, 97.1 AMP Radio/Los Angeles