Justin Timberlake Says His Solo Career Was Inspired By Kid A

By Chris DeVille / July 30, 2014

GQ just published one of those best-albums-of-the-young-century features, and in addition to their own picks, they solicited the opinions of their honorees. So Daft Punk heralds the Strokes’ Is This It, Beck sings the praises of M.I.A.’s Arular, Jamie xx reminds us that it’s been a while since we’ve listened to the Streets’ Original Pirate Material, Karen O admires the first Liars record, and Ezra Koenig big-ups both Stankonia and the Dirty Projectors’ The Glad Fact. (“It was my one and only published music review. Ha.”) Most notably, Justin Timberlake explains that D’Angelo’s Voodoo and Radiohead’s Kid A were altering his perspective back at the height of *NSYNC. Here’s Timberlake’s full bit:

JT Nominates: “D’Angelo’s Voodoo and Radiohead’s Kid A. It may seem ironic that I’d pick two albums released in the first year of the twenty-first century, with all the great music that has come since then. But I was 19. I was ready to listen to music in a different way. Not only were they filled with great songs, but the sound of them really affected me. They were complete pieces of work — progressive and retro at the same time. They transformed whatever world I was in at the time. And eventually led to my desire to make my first solo record. I’ll always reference them as the inspiration that got me off of my ass. I always go back to them, and they still do (get me off of my ass).”

We should note that JT’s love for Radiohead is previously documented — “I enjoy In Rainbows in the morning,” he told Rolling Stone in 2009, and last year he explained to Reuters that Thom Yorke inspired The 20/20 Experience track “Blue Ocean Floor” — but we weren’t aware he had become a fan so early on. It’s kind of crazy and oddly touching to imagine a teenage Timberlake losing himself in “How To Disappear Completely” before shooting the “Pop” video. Anyhow, read the full feature at GQ.

[Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images.]