Tag Archives: Justin Timberlake

An open letter to the Tennessee Kid Nation

I have been a loud, proud (and often boisterous) fan of Justin Timberlake’s since I was 7. From the moment I saw him strut across the stage to ‘Giddy Up’ on the Disney Channel Concert for *NSYNC. The game was over from that point on (fellow fans, pun intended).

What was most exciting for me was that I shared this love for *NSYNC with my best friend. She and I were polar opposites therefore she favored JC and I favored Justin (my ranking order is as follows: Justin, JC, Joey, Lance and Chris…sorry Chris!). This worked well for our friendship because we never had to fight over the same guy.   I’d spend years battling it out with the best of the BSB fandome as to who was the better boy band—I don’t care if they’ve reunited 85 times, *NSYNC reunited for 45 seconds and the world went ballistic, better comeback..better band (even if only for a few seconds). However, I never did have any friends who loved Justin Timberlake.

I believe a lot of this stemmed from the fact that I am not a competitive person. I just don’t get wrapped up in that nonsense. Therefore, I wasn’t interested in finding another fan friend because I wasn’t interested in the pissing contest of “who loves JT more”. When forced into that competitive corner, a real ugly side of Miss Enlund rears its head. I simply don’t handle intense situations such as sports or UNO Attack! In fact, I spent more time defending Justin Timberlake’s brilliance than basking in it with another person. Plot twist: I was totally fine basking in the brilliance alone on my Timberlake island.

And then the inevitable happened.

One day during my favorite class circa….2007…, I heard a girl in the grade below me talking about Justin Timberlake. Said girl was going on and on and on about how she had gotten tickets to the FSLS concert. Envy began bubbling because I hadn’t gotten tickets and the entire tour was sold out. But alas, I rose above it and began discussing the wonder that is JT and wished her joy during the show.

“Ahh…I’m a huge JT fan, cant wait for it”—girl

“Me too!”—me

“No, but like, I’m a REALLY big fan. Been to all of his concerts. I just love him to pieces”—girl

“Yeah same, I just had bad luck getting tickets this year”—me

“I’m a bigger fan…”—girl

“I’ve been a fan since I was 7..have fun!”—me

“Well I’ve been a fan since I was 6, so I’ve loved him longer”

And then my head exploded. Even though she had “loved him from a younger age” she failed to recognize that while she was 6 and I was 7 the YEAR WAS 1998 and therefore we had both liked him since 1998. Petty… I know. Hense why I never cared to have JT friends.

The Mrs. JT nickname carried on through college.

Last summer, z100 announced that it was having a contest to determine who JTs Biggest Fan was. All you had to do was explain in 140 characters and then get people to vote. I’m bad at limiting myself to a few characters, but I knew I could get the man power behind me. The contest lasted about 2 1/2weeks. I was so touched by how many people pulled through for me. I had something over 5000 votes. The support was unreal and I was floored.

I basically teetered between 1st and 2nd with this one girl. Remember when I said I had an ugly competitive side? Well, I found her on any and all social media and stalked the bejesus out of her. When she’d knock me out, I’d get really aggressive and amp up the voting posse. I created a JTfan blog to try and campaign because I don’t believe in limiting myself. I monitored what she was posting and I envied the fact that…SHE HAD ALREADY MET JT! GIVE ME A CHANCE z100!!!!!

That was the most exhausting and intense two weeks of my life. Right at the tail end of it, that girl and I got knocked down and it got so intense that I sat down and said to myself…”if its meant to be, it will be”.

Then …. That girl (Andrea, btw) direct messaged me on Twitter. *raised eyebrow*. She and I started discussing what the possible outcome of the contest would be and how z100 would go about announcing it. She admitted to stalking me right back…and the other girls that were in the top tier with us. We mutually discussed the person we assumed won the contest before the poll was closed, Mauri. Andrea informed me that she had begun to connect with most of the people in the contest to kind of keep an eye on the announcement.

I wasn’t about that. No way was I getting involved with JT fans now..especially via social media. No pissing contest on my twitter feed, kthanksbyeeee.

Mauri was named JTs Biggest Fan and I felt a flutter of envy. I did the big girl move and followed her on some social mediums and decided that she was an alright person. Same decision followed with Andrea. Since the release of the second half of 20/20 my hesitation with connecting with JT fans has diminished and my friendship with Andrea and Mauri is something that I hold so dear to my heart. More importantly, I started following other Timberlakers. Such a great decision. JT is effing wonderful, I think I’m pretty great, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that he has some of THE MOST awesome fans out there I can’t wait to meet my girls, #JTsisterwives, in December to see our man SLAY us at Barclays Center. Thank ya’ll so much for the support, friendship, and laughs! LOVE my fellow fangirls/guys.

 

Here is an open letter to the #TNKidNation #JTfam #TNKids #timberlakers all over the world :

 

Thank you #TNKidNation,

Our fandom is so much more than a screaming-to-tears, cyber-supporting “stalking”, retweeting fanatical group of people. We love JT and each other hard, support, share, and UNDERSTAND what it actually means to be slayed in the special way that only Mr. Timberlake knows how.

Outside of us, people have a hard time understanding why we get butterflies when JT crinkles his nose and does that grin. Following Justin throughout his career has brought us pride, fun, creativity, love, and pure ecstasy.

Thank ya’ll for being there to just understand and to share in the giddiness of this perfect #yearofJT. Following along on your reactions, how he has inspired ya’ll to create cool shit, and how much he just means to all of us has been so comforting. Its great to not have to justify or explain why I love Justin so much. Ya’ll just get it because you get equally as tongue-tied in trying to explain. Often there aren’t words to describe what following Justin is like…just beaming smiles and ridiculous uncontrollable body flails.

It’s because of the fandom that I don’t feel weird…at all.. for supporting every single thing Justin has his hands, including but not limited to: all of his brands, all of his band members, dancers, managers of various operations, his mother…and the rest of his family. Why only support just Justin, right? He clearly surrounds himself with amazing artists and people. Might as well!

What’s even cooler about the #TNKidNation is that so many of us have met up with one another. We’ve become real friends. Conversations don’t always revolve around Justin Timberlake or any of his other projects/brands. We’ve begun to lean on one another and support one another as individuals. That’s just beautiful and I hope it’s something that Justin realizes. His fandom his global—he’s connecting fans in the states with those in Germany. He’s fostering this connection for transplanted fans, in new areas, to find people close to them.

I am a proud Justin Timberlake Fan and even prouder member of the Tennessee Kid Nation/Family. So much love to all of you out there! Keep doin what you’re doing.

Erika

PS—a VERY special shout out to all of the MOMS who have supported our crazy asses and been on every line with us and shared in each and every panic attack that Justin has been responsible for.

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Generational gaps and such

I think the best part of my experience here has been the thing that causes everyone confusion: living with older men and working with older women.

Most people question how I cope with the generational gap and others commend on what a lovely learning experience I’m having. To them, I get this wonderful honor of living with the elderly and learning nuggets of wisdom from them.

I agree, but the hilarity in all of this is the gemstones that I have left them with.

  1. Justin Timberlake. For sure, there are three Christian Brothers who not only know of Justin Timberlake’s existence, but can recognize his face! They pay attention to headlines about him and even have seen scenes of his movies. Occasionally, if the radio is in my favor, they even get to hear his angelic voice. They’ve even saved magazine clippings with photos of him.
  2. Simple functions such as “CTRL + C/V” or—a big favorite—“CTRL + P”. These are moments I’m most proud of. You can teach anyone how to turn a computer on and fire up the internet. But it takes determination of the student (above the age of 70) to retain the knowledge of quick commands. You’re welcome, world.
  3. An update to modern slang. Imagine explaining to a dear friend who is a nun that the word pussy isn’t always in reference to a feline. Furthermore, imagine having to explain the phrase “will eat pussy for weed or booze”. *face palm*
  4. The wobble. Although this reference really dates back to that time I taught my grandma and her cousin how to wobble, I found myself teaching another group of older women. Everyone loves a good group number, I tell ya.
  5. Cell phone tutorials. These range from turning the phone from vibrateà sound to explaining how to add a calendar event on the iPhone 5s’ new OS. I even taught a nun/massage therapist how to amplify her Pandora station by just using a cup. Amazement all around.
  6. Everyday cat knowledge. In a city where stray cats outnumber the amount of homeless people, basic cat knowledge is a must. No Charles, you cannot feed a cat an onion. Yes, she will eat scrambled eggs with cheese. Don’t worry guys, she’s not being aggressive she just happens to be vocal. Side note: lasers are an absolute party must have.
  7. Selfies on selfies. Although, most of their knowledge of selfies actually comes from watching the news, they’ve learned the art through me. Nuances such as lighting and the perfect angle to maximize the number of people squeezed into one selfie. Followers of blogs and Facebook pages owe their laughs to me.

 

Until next time,
Miss Enlund ;]

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My Timberweekend

This weekend was one of the best (and corniest) weekend’s of my life. [I wrote this immediately after the concert but have had some trouble with the photo uploads so now its late—The concert was November 18th..yikes].  I met up with my parents in Memphis, Tennessee for no other reason than to see Justin Timberlake’s 20/20 Experience Tour. Because I tried to convince my father that this was his father’s day present, we also threw in a VIP tour of Graceland.

You might wonder why a 22 year old would drag both of her parents (in their 60s—roughly) to a JT show? Because anyone can attend his concert and enjoy the hell out of it! Also, because I’ve seen every concert with my mom and I figured daddy needed some lovin’ too.

I’ll start with the tour of Graceland because that was surprisingly eye opening.  I had never known that THE KING was such a humanitarian.  I guess I also never really understood and appreciated just how famous/popular he was.  The Raquetball Room was ASTONISHING.  He made his Grammy/record room look pathetic. I was also taken about by Elvis’ unique taste in decorating.  My favorite room, however, was his peacock living room.  I thought it was absolutely stunning

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ON TO THE BEST PART OF MY LIFE AND THIS BLOG POST.

So, if you missed it, November 18th was officially declared “JT Day” in Memphis by their mayor.  I woke up bright-eyed and bushy tailed at 5:25 am to get ready for my JT DAY.  Mom and I got ready, donned our JT gear (me—the black “dressed up” suit/tie tshirt from justintimberlake.com and mom—the JT/JAYZ VIP shirt from the LOTS tour).  Unfortunately, I broke my foot two weeks before the show and am forced to wear this giant aircast (affectionately referred to as my space boot).  I spiced up the boot with the JT bowtie that you can also purchase from justintimberlake.com.  My #bootandtie look, if you will.  This look later caught the eye of a local ABC tv reporter.

Mom and I headed up to Millington, TN to visit Mirimichi—Justin’s golf course.  I viewed this whole weekend as my own personal pilgrimage, if you will.  In true Erika&mother fashion, we ended up at the back end of the golf course and panicked because we thought it was closed.  Luckily, we figured out that we probably weren’t in the right spot and corrected our mistake.  We drove into the beautiful entrance and I was beside myself with nerves.  There is no way in hell that I can even pretend to be a golfer.  Would they kick us off? Think we’re psychos? Would JT be on the green for a pre-concert round?  And so we parked the car and strolled into the pro-shop.  Jenna—who’s amazing btw—saw right through my mom and I (probably the t-shirts).  She kindly showed us around the shop, took a photo of me by the golf bag with JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE stitched onto it, and overall entertained my fandome.  The icing on the cake?  She suggested that mom and I take a golf cart and check out the course– something I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to do without actually golfing.

We cruised around the course.  It was a bit chilly in Memphis and the green wasn’t exactly green but Mirimichi is beautiful.  It was overwhelmingly peaceful in the early morning and for a second I was beginning to understand why so many people enjoy golf.  This little experience was unlike anything I’ve done with my mom also so that was really cool.  I feel as if the course is divided into two types of eco-systems.  There’s a very open area that is mildly marshy and then there is a very woodsy area.  It’s a really enjoyable cart ride.  Mom and I did manage, however, to get lost which was pretty comical.  I’m convinced our cart was bugged because if we found something that wasn’t perfect and joked about it, it was being addressed by the time we made our way back to the pro-shop.

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This is what I enjoyed most about this excursion.  We grabbed a bite to eat and the operations manager came up to us and began explaining how wonderful Justin is to work for.  He spoke of the golf course and how it functioned before JTs ownership, how JT learned how to golf on the course itself, and how thankful he is that Justin and his mom stepped in and refurbished it. It was wild speaking with someone who knew Justin and his mom so well.  He spoke so highly and so personally about each of them.  I was a proud and eager fan.  It was great to hear of a real human, down-to-earth side of Justin. Round of applause to his staff!

From there, we scooped my dad up from Waffle House and headed downtown to officially celebrate JTDay.  We enjoyed the press conference held outside of the Westin Hotel (in front of the FedEx forum).  Bowties were passed around to the people in attendance.  A disclaimer was made immediately that Justin wasn’t even invited to this event because they knew he’d be busy and didn’t want to put him in a position to say no.  Many businesses took part in JTDay by posting signs in support of Justin or by having their employees don the bowtie.  The mayor of Memphis spoke highly of Justin and his impact on Memphis.  He then presented the degree to his mother who was in attendance.  She was DECKED out in JT swag (suit and tie tshirt and JT belt).  After the conference ended, a girl who I met and I went up to Lynn Harless to meet her and snag a pic with her.  My opening line to this woman was “can I take a picture with you since we’re twinning”.  Sometimes I hate myself. Either way, we were twinning because we both were rocking the JT bowtie. She laughed, told me she was going to wear the t-shirt that I had on, and gladly took the photo.  Don’t worry folks—it didn’t stop there!  My mom later went up to her, and her grandmother and chatted the two of them up. I ended that experience by trying the two latest flavors of 901 tequila. Happy JTDay, ya’ll.

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And then….

The 20/20 Experience concert…le sigh! So this performance was the 8th time I’d seen Justin perform.  I WAS SO EXCITED and I chose this concert because he’d be performing in his home town.  I knew his energy would be palpable and infectious.  Words will fail me as I attempt to explain his pure bliss on that stage.

I was blessed to be in the second row (again).  However, this second row was closer to the stage than it was for the Legends of the Summer Tour.  There is something special, as well, about seeing JUST Justin on stage.  He’s so damn talented and every single maneuver is perfectly thought out.  Now if you’re a lunatic fan like I am, you know his little inflections, hand gestures, and overall responses to his own music to a T.  I was right there with him the whole time.  It was hard to believe that there were about 15,000 other people around me.  Hell, I forgot that my parents were right next to me.

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He was a giddy little boy again.  He shouted out his dentist that he saw in my section and joked that he probably knew half of the people in the crowd, which wasn’t necessarily a good thing (insert his perfect giggle).  He proudly pounded his chest as he told the Tennessee Kids, “That’s my city!”

Gah. He’s perfect.

I’ve heard that the concert was really impressive as far as the light show/visuals go.  Admittedly, my eyes were glued to the President of Pop and swept over his band/singers frequently.  I was barely aware of the visuals.  My 67 year old dad was blown away by it though, so props Justin.

The man doesn’t stop moving at all.  He doesn’t even pull up a stool to do a ballad.  The only time he sits is during the one piano number (Until the End of Time) and he’s still dancing and crooning so you can barely count it as a break.  After the 9 minute intermission he left us.  Now, having attended several concerts, I know that Justin loves to visit the fans out in the crowd—therefore I was expecting him to get off of the main stage.  I was not, however, expecting the stage to break off in the way that it did and go ALL THE WAY to the opposite side of the stadium.  When the stage finally stopped, I teared up because of how wonderful he is.  I’ve never seen his stage designs go all the way across the stadium (he usually gets to the middle).  He then stayed over there for four songs and some covers, running back and forth so that the back center wasn’t just getting him.  I’m so floored by him it’s unreal.  I did feel a  bit cheated on when he went that far away and performed two of my favorite songs (Cabaret and That Girl), but I was a bit thankful for the distance.  I’m pretty sure if he had been in my face the entire night, I would have had a heart attack.  The distance allowed me to just take in his performance and catch a breather. But don’t worry Justin, even with a broken foot, I didn’t sit down once!

So…I’ll never be happy again but that’s okay. That was the best performance I’ve seen out of him.  The only thing I need to ever top that is a hug from Justin.  Part of me hopes he sees this and makes that wish come true.  Part of me hopes that doesn’t happen for a year or so because once that happens my life will no longer have to continue.  Everything I’d ever wanted to do will have been done.

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Until next time,

Miss Enlund

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Post-Grad Probs

What did you do after you graduated college?

I went home for three weeks (the longest amount of time I had spent in my home in three years).  Attempted to visit the local watering hole and realized that I’m just not about that life anymore.

Then I went to work for a summer camp of sorts.  I pictured it being an UH-MAZING summer job; hanging out with foreign kids, running around New York City, and giving them a remarkable and memorable experience in the states.  I would blog about our travels and the funny misunderstandings that inevitably take place between a kid from Estonia and a kid from Brazil.  Most of the above happened minus the blogging.  I didn’t expect the job to be so damn exhausting.  I also didn’t expect to have a staff that partied just as hard as they worked (which I’m insanely thankful for). This part of my summer ended all too quickly, unfortunately.

So I went back home for three weeks (as if I didn’t hate the first go around enough—sorry Mom). I focused on prepping for my second trip to the Legends of the Summer Tour with mi madre and finishing up the masterful artwork that is my walls. I also spent a lot of time freaking out and essentially hating the fact that I was no longer in college.  I think I spent a week in my room…straight.  I should have spent more time packing and prepping for the MOST GIGANTIC MOVE OF MY LIFE…at least thus far.

Just about a week ago I flew down to New Orleans to begin my year-long commitment to service and living in community with three Edmund Rice Christian Brothers.  In my last posting about people having the control over decisions, that’s what I was referencing. I’m an absolute weirdo, so I don’t often talk about big situations when they’re brewing, in fear that I’ll compromise the outcome.  Thankfully, the Brothers accepted me into their volunteer program in one of the greatest cities this country has to offer.

What I’m most excited about is this experience schedules plenty of time for reflection and chillin (unlike the last four years of my life).   This means I’ll finally be able to uphold the one thing I’ve been trying to get my ass in gear with: writing consistently.  So be prepared for insights into religious life, living with two volunteers who I went to college with, and what life in New Orleans for a non-native is like.  And of course, anything pertaining to Justin Timberlake ;]  Although, for my fan psychoticness—check out my fan blog on Tumblr.

So here’s to peace and new beginnings!

Miss Enlund ;]

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World’s Worst Blogger

Yikes! I have failed myself again!

My intention was to write when I was home, but home was uninspiring.  It was the first time I had been home for an extended amount of time in three whole years.  I can’t believe how much has changed and how much hasn’t changed either.  I will say that being home solidified my feeling of having outgrown home and needing to move on.

Also, the largest distraction from writing was the z100 contest I entered myself into.  This contest took up so much of my energy that I didn’t do HALF of what I NEEDED to do while at home.  Sadly, I have to report that I only got 4th place.  I will be filing this experience down as a case study!  I was able to get over 5000 votes through social media and word of mouth.  I’m really proud of that and I was humbled by the amount of support I received for a two week-vote daily type contest.  Plus, it just must not be my time to meet Justin Timberlake yet.  I know it will come soon enough though! If you’re interested, check out the blog I created for the competition to showcase the extent of my love for him (http://www.erikaisthetnkid.tumblr.com)

So for the rest of the summer, I’m back on my campus working with a program that brings young international students to NYC to teach them the English language and culture.  I can’t begin to express how much fun I am having with these kids.  Most of them have a great grasp on the language and are really flourishing.  Others struggle a bit but are pushing themselves to speak it better.  The most rewarding element of my job is watching them experience certain American nuances and learning about who they are and how their cultures function.

For example:

In recognition of DOMA being ruled unconstitutional (on my birthday—such an honor) I shared the news with the students (predominantly from Russia).  That conversation started off with one simple question “do you know what homosexuality is?”  I explained that in America, in some places it is legal for two people of the same sex to get married.  And hopefully now, more states will make it legal.  I then asked what they thought about that and how their countries treated homosexuality.  Their answers varied, but the majority said that their country was against Gay Rights.

THE COOLEST PART OF THE CONVERSATION?!

Only one student, out of the 15 I spoke with, felt that being gay was wrong.  These 14-16 year olds are down with people being free to love whoever they choose!

More on my adventures with the kids to follow, as well as a posting about my experience of traveling to Russia!

And huzzah to all of my friends in the Gay community! 6/26 was a remarkable step forward for each and every one of you!

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Forgive the absence

It’s been over 90 days since my last post, my sincerest apologies!! In those 90 days my yearbook made its debut, several school-hosted events were planned and executed, unforgettable night-outs took place, last minute bonding sessions with any and everyone, nailed a summer job, a real job offering surfaced, I graduated college, moved back home, re-fell for the guy from high school and re-moved on in a matter of 24 hours, and I got a tattoo!

Needless to say these last 90 days have been the strangest most intense mix of emotions.  EVERY SINGLE THOUGHT has run rampant through my mind.  Some assumed questions: “What would have happened if…”, “I wonder what so and so is doing now…”, “Do you think we’ll stay in touch?”  Some unexpected questions: “Will the bus leave without us?! If so, HOW ARE WE GETTING THERE?”, “Who shall I bring with me if I win the JTs Biggest Fan Contest

Oh..side note.  I entered myself into a contest to determine if I am Justin Timberlake’s Biggest Fan via z100. It’s a two week contest in which I have to get people to vote for me each day.  So reader, whomever you are, please vote for me! Visit this link to vote www.z100.com/c/?3w .  If you’re really spectacular, you’ll vote for me every day.  Now, I recognize that 140 characters just isn’t enough to determine if I’m the biggest fan or not so feel free to check out my other blog erikaisthetnkid.tumblr.com or following my hashtag #ErikaisTHETNKid    The winner gets flown out to London and gets tickets to the Legends of the Summer Tour at Yankee Stadium.

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Decked out for Graduation!

Graduating college was the strangest and coolest day of my life.  The event was BEAUTIFUL and the celebration dinner at JTs restaurant was great.  The emotions, though, were indescribable.  I was stressed out because I had no control over the event (control freak alert), I was excited because I was about be a COLLEGE GRADUATE, I was crapping my pants because I was about to be a COLLEGE GRADUATE, I was sad…so sad… because I felt like I was breaking up with every relationship I had established from friend to foe, and I was so nervous that I would trip on stage…at Radio City Music Hall.  I was overwhelmed with pride.  I was so proud of my friends for all that they’ve accomplished in the last four years, so proud of my residents and their growth, and really proud of myself.  It’s really crazy for me to take that step back and realize that I’m the only person in my nuclear family that went to college.

Either way, I apologize for the absence.  I haven’t had a serious moment to sit down and commit myself to writing in the way that I’ve wanted, but I have been brainstorming ideas.  I’ll probably do a case study on myself (lame I know) and my social media campaign to get votes for the JT contest.  Although it’s in- house, the best person to promote is yourself because you know yourself the best.  From a social media standpoint, I think I’m doing a relatively good job.  I wish I could just get my hands on the metrics that z100 has.

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Case Study: The Justin Timberlake identity

Everyone loves a good a case study.  As humans, we constantly search for stories or instances that can present different perspectives of decisions.  Children learn from family members on how to dress, how to approach other people, how to be kind etc.  As students, we CRAVE examples to help absorb a lesson.  As professionals (in any field), we look to how our competition reacts in certain scenarios or how they roll out new practices or products.

As a PR major about to step into the working world, I am CONSTANTLY looking at what others are doing around me.  Are people being consistent in their branding?  Are they communicating their story well?  Have people bought into the brand and exactly how loyal are these brand ambassadors? I try to view situations from three lenses; public relations, marketing and advertising.  These three fields are taught separately at my school, but they are so intertwined it is almost impossible to view any scenario without considering the impact on the other fields.

Lately, my attention has been drawn to Justin Timberlake’s comeback into music.  Previously admitted, I am a HUGE Justin Timberlake fan.  I have been enamored by the man for the last 15 years of my life.  My knowledge of him and his career exceeds the knowledge of the average person bopping along to Suit & Tie.  I’m now watching Mr. Timberlake from a more critical perspective.  I can’t say that my opinion of his re-launch isn’t biased, but nonetheless, I feel that people should be paying attention to what he is doing.  After all, how many from his era have made a steady transition into an independent identity and been SO successful?

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Before I delve into what he is doing with this new album, it’s important to know what Justin has been doing in the last ten years.   In 2002 he attempted to shatter his boy-band mold with the release of Justified. Here we see the young 22 year old Justin in his first attempt to figure out where he sits in the realm of music.  He had a lot of help on this album and it had a very Pop/ R&B feel to it.  Songs like “Like I love You” were reminiscent of long-time idol, Michael Jackson.  Timberlake receives help from Timbaland, Pharell Williams, Brian McKnight, and Janet Jackson.  Nothing about the songs really sounded entirely different at the time of their release.  In 2006 Timberlake released FutureSex/LoveSounds, which was an album that had a very different sound from what was already out.  In the four years between the two albums, Justin has clearly matured vocally and personally and this is reflected in the content of the music.  He continues to work with Timbaland and brings other artists onto his album such as T.I. ,Will.I.Am and Three Six Mafia.  However, Timberlake begins to figure out where is identity falls.  There is a definite sex appeal and southern swagger to his entire persona.

In between these albums and tours Justin occupied himself by working with his childhood best friend, Trace Ayala, to create a clothing line and restaurant chain.  Both ventures are heavily influenced by their southern upbringing.  Their restaurant, Southern Hospitality (http://southernhospitalitybbq.com/hk/), is more or a less a shrine to Elvis Presley.  Each restaurant has a fun atmosphere with southern-styled, barbequed, fried, and cheesy eats.  Their clothing line reflects a southern meets chic look.  Denim and leather are the main fabrics you encounter.  Don’t forget, that amidst all of this, Timberlake decided to thread his favorite hobby (golf) into his philanthropic ventures with Shriner’s Children’s Hospitals.  From 2002-2012 Justin was part of 13 movies, appeared on SNL 7 times, created a tequila, held some endorsements (Givenchy, Audi, and Callway golf), developed the first ecologically friendly golf course, hosted a few awards shows, produced a television show, performed here and there, produced or collaborated with artists that include (but are not limited to) Ciara, Esmee Denters, Matthew Morris, Free Sol,  Duran Duran, T.I., Leona Lewis, etc. Oh, and he bought MySpace.

And yet you all thought he was JUST acting during this 7 year “musical hiatus”.

Regardless of what he was doing, there are some key things to pay attention to in ALL OF HIS VENTURES.  His southern roots appear in almost every single thing he does.  For example: the tequila he created and launched, 901 Silver (http://www.901.com/), uses 901 because that was his area code when he lived in Tennessee.  901 is readily available at his restaurants to which their mantra is “Its 9:01 somewhere”.  In case you’re wondering, I happened to enjoy an amazing performance when he celebrated 901 Silver on September 1st, 2011 at Southern Hospitality (Hell’s Kitchen location).  JT sang one song (What goes around comes back around) but played with the rap/rock band FreeSol.  FreeSol is signed to his record label, Tennman Records/Interscope Records.

Justin Timberlake performing with FreeSol at Southern Hospitality 09/01/2011

Clearly losing my mind over seeing Justin Perform for the first time in 4 years.

Clearly losing my mind over seeing Justin Perform for the first time in 4 years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is “9:01” ringing a bell with anyone?  To those of who have been keeping up with (at least) his comeback, 901 should resonate.  He released Suite & Tie digitally at 9:01 am, Pacific Time.  Coincidence? Absolutely not.  I am convinced that his Grammy performance was scheduled to take place at 9:01 p.m. Eastern Time but fun.’s acceptance speech ran overboard resulting in the performance start time of about 9:06 pm.  He has also been insanely consistent in branding the identity of The 20/20 Experience.   In an interview with GRAMMY (http://www.grammy.com/news/justin-timberlake-opens-up) , he explains that there is a character he is living out for this album, hense the Tom Ford tuxedo image.  This character is part of the current branding of JT right now.  He hasn’t really been spotted without a suit and tie on, his social mediums have gone through revamping also (Facebook and Twitter profile changes with each new announcement) and the creation of his Instagram account.  By the way, the sepia-tone filter during his Grammy performance was entirely intentional.  Feb 10th is when JT signed onto Instagram and every photo since has been in a grey scale toned filter.

Photo credit: Justin Timberlake's Instagram

Photo credit: Justin Timberlake’s Instagram

He has also created and maintained A LOT of buzz for his re-launch back into music.  Not only has he done this, but it has a very personal feel to it.  He has several hand-written letters on his website speaking directly to his fans.  He also launched a video explaining his “hiatus” from music and why he chose to step back into it now.  And you can’t forget about the personally written track list of the album. His Instagram pictures, although obviously professionally taken vs. cell phone pix, give us a small look into his life as he re-enters the stage.  These updates come periodically and have his fans at the edge of their seats—or smart phones considering all of his announcements are via social media. (HINT: PR/social media specialists should be PAYING ATTENTION).

Also, I find it interesting that he has been releasing music digitally.  As I previously mentioned in an earlier post, Justin has advocated for many years against pirating music.  I also think it is interesting that the album is being sold exclusively through iTunes and Target.  This is a very interesting business move on his part.  Speaking of business moves, he’s recently the creative director for Budlight Platinum.

Keep your eyes on this rollout and take notes.  We have A LOT to learn from Mr. Timberlake.

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Suit & Tie

So, I’m proud to say that my theory was correct.  The only downside is the title was leaked a few days before me cracking this code–so close! Either way, I had no idea that was the title was when I cracked the code. I consider this a win!

Naturally, I’m in love with the song.  I’ll admit it took three listens to say that.  I, like the rest of the world, was hoping for a dance hit.  The song is no where near being a dance hit, but I think it sounds so different than what is currently on the radio.  I hope people who aren’t too thrilled with the song recognize that the point of Justin taking a break from music was because he didn’t want to create work that sounded just like everything else.  So, hats off to you Mr. Timberlake!

 

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Just a Theory

So I’ve been keeping quite the eye on Mr. Timberlake’s news.  You know, the normal stuff such as: subscribing to ANYONE/ANYTHING affiliated with him so that any time they tweet..I receive a text.  I’ve also signed up for every possible newsletter and have frequented countdown.justintimberlake.com.

I’m stalking studying his campaign for personal and professional reasons.  Any type of new product release is always interesting, but when its the man (who is finally releasing music after six dreadful years) you’ve love since you were 7…its a HUGE deal.

What is brilliant is how daunting and consistent this campaign is.  He periodically tweets quoting himself in many aspects.  One tweet, which was posted on January 12 stating “..and as long as I got my suit and tie…” #JT2013.  With that, he has changed his profile pictures on Twitter and Facebook to be him at the mic, and both banner photos to be a recording mic.  All of this SCREAMS to music.

Furthermore, on the website with the countdown there are faded letters.  New letters keep appearing, replacing old letters that were once appeared.  I’ve been monitoring these letters.  In my opinion, this will be the song title. 

And I believe I just may have cracked the code….*insert drum roll and stadium like screaming*

Suit & Tie is what I believe the title of the new single will be…or MAYBE even the album! Either way, JT has been cooking up something good.  I feel it in my bones.  I’m excited for his new work and more excited to see the publicity campaign that follows it. I heard rumors of him being on SNL (no surprise), I’m hoping he stops by Jimmy Fallon for another Rap Medley, and the obvious—Ellen!

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Globe Trotting and such

Haven’t posted in a while due to a much needed BREAK and travel outing. More to come on my Peruvian adventure.

Also, an in-depth response on Justin Timberlake’s brilliant social media campaign for his announcement. Check him out, countdown.justintimberlake.com

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