Producer Danja Details What to Expect From Justin Timberlake's 'Man of the Woods' Album
Justin Timberlake got the band back together for his fifth studio album, Man of the Woods, which will be released in less than a month (Feb. 2). J.T. teamed up with Timbaland and Danja once again, who were heavily involved in what many deem as Justin's best full-length work, 2006's FutureSex/LoveSounds.
Fans were puzzled after hearing "Filthy," which did not end up sounding like "campfires" and the "wild west," as Timberlake's wife, Jessica Biel, teased in the album's trailer. Complex's Frazier Tharpe caught up with Danja for a phone interview to get his perspective on the the creative process behind the futuristic-sounding "Filthy," in addition to tidbits regarding Man of the Woods.
Danja became involved with the album at the top of 2017, and recently tweeted out the project's track-list with three songs underlined, which he likely had a role in crafting ("Filthy," "Sauce," and "Say Something"). The producer born Floyd Nathaniel Hills confirmed the trailer would be indicative of the album, and that "Filthy" set the tone to begin the cleansing process, explaining, "I like to think of 'Filthy' as the disruption between the world we're living in and his world... So, 'Filthy' was just that kick-in-the-door, 'I'm here, and oh by the way, let me erase everything that you've been listening to, let me disrupt the world order and kind of create a new world order,' with this world that he grew up in."
The Memphis native laid out strict parameters for the producers to follow, which were verbatim from the vibe Timberlake explained in the trailer. Danja quickly picked up the world J.T. was looking to bring them into, telling Complex, "He definitely knew what he wanted to do. I had parameters, I had guidelines. Myself and [Timbaland], we knew the world that we had to be in... And it was Memphis, and he put up a board in the studio that had influences from Memphis."
The "Shining" producer hinted that Justin's country-tinged "Drink You Away" could be a possible preview of what's to come with the Man of the Woods project, saying, "'Drink You Away' was, in a sense, a preview. If you want any idea, that would be the closest thing to what you might hear."
With chemistry between the "Sexyback" artist, Timbo and Danja already established, the trio executed similar creative strategies used to craft prior albums together, but the Virginia native was quick to explain how heavily involved Timberlake is as a producer. "He’d hop on guitar or whatever -- he’s very hands-on. Justin is a producer, he’s not just labeled as one because he’s the biggest name and it’s his album," the 35-year-old continued. "He’s actually hands-on, he’ll hit some keys, play guitar, he plays on a lot of this album. He’s a musician. He didn’t just sit back and let us do our thing and figure it out. We figured it out together."
Check out the interview in its entirety over at Complex. Man of the Woods drops Feb. 2.
FILTHY • SAY SOMETHING • SAUCE— DANJA (@only1DANJA) January 6, 2018
MAN OF THE WOODS pic.twitter.com/lIiSES9y7k