Justin Timberlake’s Producer, Timbaland: ‘We Are Country’
After Justin Timberlake’s explosive collaboration with Chris Stapleton at the 2015 CMA Awards, the pop superstar turned his sights to country music. Timberlake shipped his Americana-style tune "Drink You Away" to country radio last week, and according to his longtime producer, Timbaland, the genre's not a far stretch. It's in his blood.
Timbaland says both he and Timberlake grew up in the South, so they're familiar with the culture.
"We are country. He’s from Tennessee, I’m from Virginia. It’s only right that we try to tap into what we was raised in. We was raised in the country," Timbaland tells TMZ. "That’s who we are."
"We love love songs, we heard our parents sing them, the old country songs," the producer adds. "But now it’s a new generation of country. ‘Drink You Away‘ was done on The 20/20 Experience. It’s now one of the biggest songs. But we always wanted to do country music. We thought some of our lyrics were country."
Timberlake sang “Drink You Away" as the second half of his CMA Awards medley, which started with Stapleton’s “Tennessee Whiskey.” Though his most recent record, The 20/20 Experience is filled with R&B-pop tunes, “Drink You Away” has a definite rootsy, soulful feel, similar to Stapleton’s, so it was an easy choice for the pairing, and for Timberlake's first foray into country.
When asked if he and Timberlake would ever explore the country genre any further, Timbaland replied bluntly, “Why not?" The producer also said he’d love to get involved in Nashville’s country music scene himself.
“I gotta break that genre. I gotta tap into country, I’m already posted up in Nashville," he explains. "I got a little spot in Nashville. That’s something I want to do. Cause I am music, so I don’t discriminate no genres. I learn it and I study it and I love it."
Timberlake and Stapleton’s performance at the CMA Awards was a highlight of the night.
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