As it is, Justin Timberlake will give fans as much music this year as he’s released in his entire solo career. He’s dropped the year’s best-selling album to date, The 20/20 Experience, and is prepping its sequel, The 20/20 Experience — 2 of 2 for September 30.
But in an interview with MTV News’ Sway Calloway at Sunday night’s 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, just before he broke the Internet by reuniting with ‘NSYNC, Timberlake revealed that he originally planned to serve up four times that much product.
“Here’s the thing that you have to understand about all of it, is it was all written at the same time,” Timberlake said of the two albums he recorded last year. “How it’s being released … we kinda thought this was a cool way to do it. I went through a bunch of different ideas on how to release it. One being four EP’s of five songs.”
Plans obviously changed, but JT said the process of building enough songs for those releases came during one of the most fruitful creative periods of his career. “We sat down together, [Timbaland], myself, and crew … a bunch of other producers,” he said. “I just kind of assembled this great group of people and … we put together more than 20 songs. We had 25 to 30 songs in 20 days. So we were just sprinting and sprinting and sprinting and then trying to figure out a way to put it out.”
They finally agreed to do a double album, staggering the releases over the course of the year. But in Justin’s mind, it’s all one project, with the challenge being how to split the tunes up in the most logical sense.
“I had to figure out how to do a song, like a track list for two halves, versus just one big experience. Honestly, I just kind of thought of it like fashion,” said the singer and co-founder of William Rast fashion line. “If there’s a March release, then this is going to be my Spring/Summer collection. These are going to be all the songs that I feel like I’d want to hear in the summertime. And then the second half is a little bit darker.”
Though little is known about the second album beyond the disco-fied first single, “Take Back the Night,” Timberlake said if you liked his smash 2006 FutureSex/LoveSounds release then you’ll probably like this one. “It’s like when you’re a freshman in high school and you think you’ve fallen in love with that other girl in your class and you go over to meet her parents ’cause you want to impress her parents, um, that’s the first album,” he explained.
“But then when you get over there, you realize she has a sister that’s a senior and she’s like the dark haired one that you can tell is a little bit like more experienced and … darker. Like there’s something a little bit like more dangerous about that chick. And then you’re like, ‘Wait, what have I been looking at?’ That’s the second half.”