When Timbaland creates music, he sees the colour blue. in particular, a sky blue.
When Justin Timberlake recorded vocals for what would become his debut studio album, Justified, in 2002, he sang over one of the beats he had produced for the first time. That colour, which the renowned, Grammy-winning musician claims he hears in his head when hearing his own production, became even more vivid.
"Blue only becomes more vivid as he continues to sing that opening note. It resembles sunshine "Two decades after the debut of Timberlake's ground-breaking solo effort, Timbaland, 50, tells PEOPLE. "I exposed him to a noise. And he introduced me to a sound that made my goods stand out: his tone over my music. It resembled a whole marriage as a result. The music is sick, but when you put us together and say that we need each other, that's all there is to it. You also heard it."
The 20th anniversary of Timberlake's Justified album is in November. The album went on to sell well over 10 million copies worldwide, and it was Justin Timberlake's first solo full-length project since the boy band *NSYNC split up following the release of Celebrity in 2001. After that, a collaboration with Timbaland was established.
In 2002, JT's ears were attracted to Virginian music, particularly that of Timbaland and the production team The Neptunes (Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo). After recording sessions with both artists, Timbaland, real name Timothy Zachery Mosley, who was in charge of Timberlake's No. 3 charting smash "Cry Me a River," produced roughly half of the album, while The Neptunes produced the other half.
Timbaland, who later produced nearly all of 2006's FutureSex/Lovesounds, claims that "[that song] was the one that cemented, 'Oh, we going to do more, we need go back and finish the other album'." "Now we have to transport it there," was said as the project came to a close.
In 2003, Timberlake and his partner attended the Grammys with Justified, where "Cry Me a River" won best male pop vocal performance and the record best pop vocal album. The song was one of the first ones Justin Bieber covered on YouTube in the late '00s, and Tyler, the Creator said last week that receiving the album for Christmas in 2002 was "one of the greatest experiences of my life." It also introduced a few other soon-to-be music titans to Timbaland's style.
Timbaland recently spoke with PEOPLE on how watching Justified makes him realise that he is "a part of history" in addition to seeking to change popular music in the future.
Justified has sold well over 10 million copies since its debut, and beyond that, it has really highlighted a rising artist who was still discovering his voice as a soloist. At the time, did it feel like you were collaborating with Justin or that you were just going to work on those four songs?
Going to the studio and building the chemistry back then was the key. Once we started working on song one, the chemistry was established. I was aware of our chemistry. Talent was the requirement back then, but to identify the truly exceptional ones to enter the room—you had to be exceptional—that was the only way you could enter. But because each person is unique, occasionally everyone's chemistry doesn't mesh. They are each unique in their own way, but working together is something else entirely.