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  Justin Timberlake: full interview
Updated 11 October 2002, 19.05
Justin Timberlake talks to Newsround Lite
Justin chats to our showbiz show Newsround Lite about his musical inspiration, what you read in the papers and THOSE lyrics.

Why are you going solo?
It's safe to say this isn't about the money. This is just for me - I love music and I've had this music inside me.

I grew up on old soul music, what you guys here call Northern Soul, which was 60s era, Marvin Gaye, Al Green, Stevie Wonder.

I just wanted to make a record for myself. I've wanted to do this literally ever since I was a young lad. It's just a lifelong dream, and I figured if I don't do it now, when am I going to do it?

Was it hard performing at the MTV awards alone?
It was cool. I was nervous, I was a little nervous, but I was excited.

The main thing that made me nervous was the fact that this was not only the first time anyone was going to see me perform solo, but this was the first time they were going to hear this song.

Everyone's going solo including Nick Backstreet Carter. Why?
I would assume that he's doing the same thing I'm doing. This is the music that he loves and that's why he wanted a change of pace. It's about him, it's not about anyone else.

What do you think about being compared to Michael Jackson?
I don't know about all of that. Honestly, I'm completely removed from any hype that comes my way.

It's very flattering. He's a legend in my eyes, and he is one of my idols and I grew up imitating Michael. I think you can see that in this generation of popular music. I think you can see that with Britney, I think Michael inspired Nelly, I think he's inspired our whole generation of popular music.

But as far as the comparison, it's very flattering. But at the same time it's almost kinda scary for me because I expect a lot from myself.

Is it hard to avoid the hype and the press?
It doesn't hinder my creativity. Sometimes it gets on your nerves, sometimes you just feel like you want your life to be your life, not everybody else's to speculate on. But at the same time, like I said, I just don't read it.

You've been famous for ten years, since the Mickey Mouse Club. Would you recommend going that route to other kids?
Of course, if you're passionate about it. I have really great, great parents and they were very supportive of me and they always said to me, if it's something that you love then why wait?

Quite honestly I don't know what I would be doing if I wasn't doing this. I probably would have got in a little bit of trouble as a kid if I wasn't doing this.

There's nothing wrong with shooting for the stars, there's nothing wrong with trying to grab the stars.

You were quoted as saying writing songs isn't brain surgery - do people make too much of it?
I think obviously with the speculation of my personal life, I think yes.

I've already had questions about the lyrical content - why did you make your lyrics so risque? But I'm 21 years old, I am saying what I would say. I do not think it is brain surgery - the way that I write is very melody inspired and I think that's the most important part of the song.

Why have you changed your music style from pop to urban?
I really didn't think of it like that. There has been a lot of speculation about the fact that I went from pop music to urban, but to me there's too much classification about what pop music actually is.

If you asked me what pop is right now I'd say hip hop.

I think artists make albums, and as a kid listening to music, your inspirations, the things that you click with, are going to inspire your style.

I really didn't try to make an effort to make urban music but I am a product of my inspirations. And growing up in a generation where you've got so much music to listen to, it's very inspiring.

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