Danja's Stories Behind His Biggest Hits with Timbaland


“We changed the landscape of pop music,” says Danja, the producer extraordinaire, about the incredible run he went on with TimbalandJustin Timberlake, and Nelly Furtado in 2006. “It changed the music business and what people felt like they needed to succeed with music. It definitely opened the doors for the Skrillexs, David Guettas, and the Afrojacks you see today.”
Though Danja is an accomplished musician in his own right, he’s best known for teaming up with Timbo and helping take the Virginia producers from a hip-hop/R&B hit-maker, to one of the biggest pop craftsmen of the Aughts. With JT’s new album in stores this week, we got on the phone with the producer to talk about which artists are easy to work with, why artists need to be open-minded, and Timbaland’s massive sound library.

"Put You On The Game" (2005)



Danja: "I had a little set up in the house so I started doing some tracks. Tim worked on the bus while I was working in the studio. He came back in the studio off that bus with that track and it blew everybody's head off in the studio. He came in and said, 'I got something.' I added on the choir, the piano, and stuff like that. The beat was definitely done by him, I was just in there but it was a competitive thing. It was always a competitive thing with us in the studio, that carried through the projects we worked on.
"I don't know where Tim finds his [sounds]. He had stuff like that just sitting. You could make five beats just off the sounds he has. His sound collection and the elements he would find are so crazy and so easy that it's a layup for him, he can just put stuff together.

Nelly Furtado "Promiscuous" (2006)


Danja: "I had a beat playing. Tim walked in and said what came to him. he started doing the hook and added some drums. A lot of stuff we would start together, some he would start on his own and some I would start on my own. Then we'd come together and finalize it.
"The funny thing about 'Promiscuous' is he had that record done before we started on Nelly, though he might have had her in mind for it when we made it. I don't remember if she was 100 percent feeling it or not. It was one of those, 'I like it but we're still getting ideas out.' In the end, that was the last song we completed for the album. It ended up being the biggest song on the album."

Justin Timberlake ft. Timbaland "SexyBack" (2006)



Danja"For 'SexyBack' We were vibing in the studio. The way those sessions went, we jumped right in. The first record we did was 'What Goes Around Comes Around' and then we hopped into another idea. Me and Timbaland were jamming in the studio and Justin was there. We were recording while we were busting riffs, melodies, and beat patterns.
"There was maybe 45 minutes to two hours of us just jamming and they turned into songs like 'SexyBack,' 'Summer Love,' 'Sexy Ladies,' and another track. We went back, fine-tuned them, and make them songs. Everything we did in those sessions ended up on the album except for one song. Everything else, we made it on the spot and ended up on the project. There was no leftover songs from the FutureSex/LoveSounds sessions except for maybe one."

"The Way I Are" (2007)


Danja: "All those records [with Nelly, Justin, and the Timberland solo stuff] came together in that one year. For that song, I had some sounds and then Tim started playing my keyboard messing with sounds. I had a beat going and he did the [melody]. It was weird because now I'm sampling him [instead of the other way around]. I added the drums and everything around it.
"We both are always developing a new style so it evolved through the album-making process. It's always evolving, it's going to change and turn into something different. We strive to keep switching our styles, that's how we maintain eclectic sounds.

50 Cent ft. Justin Timberlake "Ayo Technology" (2007)








Madonna ft. Justin Timberlake "4 Minutes"






Via Complex
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