Believe it or not, it’s been a full 10 years since Justin Timberlake first declared in his distorted, half-spoken drawl, “I’m bringin’ sexy back (yeah!).”
To ring in the anniversary of his 2006 album FutureSex/LoveSounds, Entertainment Weekly spoke to Timberlake and the key players involved in the making of its lead single, “SexyBack.” Among the most interesting anecdotes about the clubby, twitchy track is JT’s revelation that he and producer Timbaland were heavily inspired by the late David Bowie.
“I was listening to a lot of [David] Bowie at that time — Ziggy Stardust and Diamond Dogs — and I played ‘Rebel Rebel’ over and over again, like, 15 times the day before I wrote anything for ‘SexyBack,’” Timberlake said.
He also acknowledged the inspiration from other ’70s new wave bands, saying, “We were interested in taking those new-wave synth sounds that were made popular by bands like Tears for Fears and the Human League and seeing how much R&B we could add to that sound. We wanted to take those synth sounds and make them arpeggiated, almost like what’s very common with EDM now.”
For more on the making of “SexyBack” — including fun tidbits about the genesis of JT and Timbaland’s back-and-forth wordplay and how they toasted the song with Cristal — head to EW. And in the meantime, let’s all bask in the eternal sexiness of “SexyBack.” Go ’head, be gone with it.