The last new music we heard from Justin Timberlake was his 2013 album, The 20/20 Experience, but today ends that streak with a new song titled Can't Stop The Feeling, off DreamWorks Animations' Trolls soundtrack. Earlier this year, Timberlake revealed he was taking on the role of the film's executive music producer, along with voicing the character Branch, marking his third time playing an animated movie character following 2007's Shrek the Third and 2010's Yogi the Bear.
Calling into Hits 1's The Morning Mash Up Show to wish them a happy 10th anniversary, Timberlake talked about working on the soundtrack, what he thinks of the Trolls film, and when his fifth studio album might drop.
"It's been a lot of fun", he said of working on Trolls. "They hired me to be one of the actors in the movie, and then Mr. Katzenberg, he pulled me aside and said, 'Hey I want you to be the executive music producer'. At first I was like, 'Wow, that's sounds amazing'. Then I was like, 'Wait, that sounds like a lot of work'. And it has been, but, man, it's so exciting. It really came out well".
He continued: "I thought back to like classic soundtracks of a certain era, like I was referencing Saturday Night Fever and Urban Cowboy and Grease even. … Back in those days like they would release songs from the soundtrack first, and I feel like the songs were such a part of the DNA of those movies, too. And this is the same way, I mean, you know, it's not just an animated movie, it's an animated musical. There's a ton of music in the movie, so we got into writing some originals for it, and then it just, I don't know, I just got so excited about the music. I was like, 'We have to put this stuff out now!'".
Timberlake compared his excitement for the film to how he felt watching Shrek for the first time.
"It's just laugh after laugh after laugh", he said. "And the music is — I mean hopefully … maybe I'm putting too much pressure on myself — but the music is really fantastic".
He went on to detail his fascination with the animation process.
"When you go in for these recording sessions, they put all these different cameras right in the room … even ones with like crazy lenses that can zoom in on your actual mouth while you're saying the words. So when the animators animate your character, I think the effort is to sort of make them act like you. So a lot of that is they actually animate to your movements, even down to your facial expression. Honestly, doing an animated movie and seeing how they do it, it's like you took that pill in the Matrix. It's crazy to see how they make it work".
When asked when we can expect a new album, Timberlake didn't reveal any specifics. However, he did mention that working on the Trolls soundtrack has "definitely bled over into writing a bunch of other things".
"When I'm making a record for myself, I don't know, I feel like I have to take advantage of the fact that it's done when I love every song", he said, noting that the process for writing songs for a soundtrack is much more planned out and expedited. "It's done when you know it's done. So, I don't like to start making a record and go, 'Oh, yeah I gotta get this out by this certain date', because who knows, you may write 12, 13, 14, 15 songs and then who knows, that 16th song that you didn't get a chance to write may be like 'the one'".
Before saying goodbye, he told Morning Mash Up listeners to expect more Trolls music to be released throughout the summer.
"I hope you guys love the record", he said. "We're really happy with it. I'm just so stoked on how this soundtrack came out. You'll be hearing a lot of the soundtrack hopefully this summer, and thank you guys for lovin'. Happy 10th!"