Justin Timberlake's work executive music producing the forthcoming Trolls soundtrack is what led to him working on material for his forthcoming album. In an interview with BBC Radio 1Xtra, the singer detailed how follow-up material to 2013's The 20/20 Experience – 2 of 2 sprung from the project and he also hinted at a future collaboration with The Weeknd.
Prior to Timberlake releasing "Can't Stop the Feeling!," his first song in three years, Timberlake shared an Instagram photo in the studio with Pharrell Williams, which led to speculation about him working on a new solo album. In the BBC interview, the singer clarified that his meeting with Williams happened after his work on the Trolls song. "I started working on the music for this movie prior to that [photo being taken]," he explained. "But then working on the music for this movie just got me really excited about being back in the studio again 'cause I kind of took some time off, you know, having a new family member, having a son. I just kind of took some time off and wanted to just be in that experience."
Timberlake and his wife, actress Jessica Biel, welcomed their son, Silas, last year.
"And then this [Trolls] project came along and that was a little bit of serendipity as well, you know, to be offered an animated film," he said. Timberlake serves as the executive music producer and also a lead voice for character Branch in the film. "It felt like a job that fell into your lap," he added. He also revealed that both Ariana Grande and Gwen Stefani will appear on the soundtrack, which he said was not completed yet. "Gwen does one that I think I'm actually gonna feature on with her as a duet."
Timberlake said that the work on the film sparked some inspiration. "So then as that was happening I just wanted to stay in the studio, wanted to keep going in the studio 'cause you just get the creativity going."
This led to his recent studio time with Williams and also Timbaland. "I don't know exactly what it's going to be yet 'cause we just really started," he said. He explained that the timeframe of a movie release requires that it's finished by a certain point, whereas with his solo work he doesn't have the same pressure. "I think it's one of those things that's just a feeling like you know it's done when it's done," he said.
The singer also hinted that a Weeknd collaboration may soon be in the works. "The Weeknd and I have been talking about doing a collaboration soon. He's working on an album. I don't know if I'm supposed to say that," Timberlake said. "He's always in the studio anyway. But we've talked about doing something together."
Timberlake recently appeared with his Trolls cast mate Anna Kendrick to perform a cover of Cyndi Lauper's "True Colors." Trolls is scheduled to hit theatres on December 8th, while the soundtrack will be released on September 23rd.