Talk about stealth!
“We were in the same studio at the same time,” Pharrell told ET’s Sophie Schillaci on the CMT Music Awards red carpet on Wednesday. “So we had Justin in one room. Little Big Town in another room. Quite naturally, people are going to visit each other and Justin ended up singing on one of the songs.”
“He sang background [vocals] on ‘C’mon,’” the 43-year-old music producer disclosed.
Timberlake, a Memphis native, stirred up speculation back in March when he shared a photo from the recording studio with members of Little Big Town, accompanied by a telling caption, “NBD… Just writing with @littlebigtown. This band is the truth!! So good!!!!”
“It was like the old days when artists used to hang out in the studio and you might hop in and listen to somebody’s song,” Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild said of the impromptu session.
According to them, the idea to have the “Can’t Stop the Feeling” singer provide vocals came from Timberlake himself.
“He came down and listened to what we were doing. He was like, ‘Oh my gosh, what if I sang this?’” Fairchild continued. “It was very fun and he’s a Tennessee boy. Obviously they [Timberlake and Pharrell] have a deep friendship for many years, so it was really cool.”
“It was a Southern party!” guitarist Phillip Sweet added, with Pharrell chiming in: “It was the South getting together.”
It’s been a while since Timberlake and Pharrell collaborated on a song together -- the early 2000s, to be more exact, when Pharrell (as one-half of The Neptunes) produced Timberlake’s early solo hits like “Senorita” and “Like I Love You.”
In March, Timberlake and Pharrell reunited in the studio to potentially create some new music. “Currently…,” Timberlake captioned a black-and-white snap of the longtime collaborators in the middle of a session.
While we’ll have to wait a bit to see what the duo dream up next, Timberlake recently dropped his first song in three years, “Can’t Stop the Feeling” for the Trolls soundtrack, and hinted that more original music is still to come.
"I'm kind of just in the creative process right now and I don't really have a deadline," he said in a recent interview. "For me, when I make an album for myself, it's done when it's done. I honestly don't know, but I am really, really excited with what I'm coming up with because I think it sounds like something I haven't quite done and hasn't quite been done."