It’s no secret that Justin Timberlake has loved working on the Trolls franchise, both voicing pop troll Branch and serving as executive music producer for the two films’ soundtracks. And he’s not ready to stop at Trolls World Tour.
“I hope we make, like, seven Trolls movies, because it literally is the gift that keeps on giving,” Timberlake said during his Apple Music takeover on Thursday (April 9). “You get to go to work and create something that’s outside of how you see yourself as an artist. And for me, it’s interesting too, being able to work in film as an actor and being able to work in music as a performer, singer, songwriter, producer, whatever — it’s just one of those things that I just never thought those two worlds would mesh in an animated film.”
Timberlake spent his hourlong special sharing stories of the songs on the Trolls World Tour soundtrack, also diving into the film’s overall message of diversity. The “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” singer explained that the biggest goal for Trolls World Tour was advocating for inclusion, which is presented through the genre-based characters that are introduced in the second film, encompassing pop, rock, techno, classical, funk and country.
“We were taking the stereotypes of those music [genres] and almost creating some humor out of that,” he said. “But then as the message of the movie and the plot of the movie goes along, and these characters really start to become more human-like in their emotion, to kind of bring those worlds together and mesh them together. Which was probably the biggest challenge — bringing all those types of music together and making it feel congruent. But DreamWorks and Universal blessed us with a cast of legendary people, so we had a stacked team.”
The all-star team includes Kelly Clarkson, Ozzy Osbourne, Anderson .Paak, George Clinton, Mary J. Blige, Icona Pop and J Balvin, all of whom voice characters in Trolls World Tour. Even more music superstars were involved with the soundtrack, including SZA (whom Timberlake referred to as “the unicorn”), Haim, Dierks Bentley, Chris Stapleton, Anthony Ramos and hitmaking songwriter Sarah Aarons.
Grammy- and Oscar-winning producer Ludwig Göransson co-produced the album and hopped on FaceTime with Timberlake in between songs from the soundtrack. Göransson recalled working “24 hours a day” with JT once he got off tour last year, a process that Timberlake admitted made them think, “Are we actually going to be able to do this?” (The singer recalled having to write Stapleton’s two soundtrack contributions over FaceTime in order to make deadline.)
Timberlake asserted that he and Göransson will be “linked for life” after their Trolls World Tour experience, and even hinted that the pair have two other “non-Troll” ideas that they plan to finish in the near future. For now, he’s excited for everyone to see the film, which will be available on AppleTV and other streaming services April 10. “I was blown away with how well the film came together,” he said.
Watch a clip of Timberlake’s Apple Music takeover below.