It’s totally not a bad thing that Justin Timberlake went solo. Sure, the former teen heartthrob found fame with ‘90s boy band ’NSync, but his musical genius was truly unleashed once he ventured out on his own. In an exclusive first look at his interview on the new OTHERtone episode on Apple’s Beats 1, the Grammy-winning artist discusses his decision to leave the wildly popular group.

While conversing with the production duo The Neptunes, Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo, about working on his first solo album, 2002’s Justified, the 35-year-old singer-actor revealed the moment he knew that stepping away from ’NSync was the right move.

“The funny thing is, like, literally the first day of recording, I remember walking in and we were like, ‘What are we gonna do?’” Timberlake said. He then mimicked Hugo, 42, playing a riff on the guitar. “And I was, like, just that whole [rhythm] … I was like, ‘This just sounds like nothing I’ve heard!’ It reminds me of the feeling I get from certain things that I love. That moment was so much of a confirmation for me.”

“I remember feeling, like, I was like, ‘I have to do my own record and I have to go solo,’” recalled the “Mirrors” crooner, who is now married to actress Jessica Biel, with whom he shares son Silas. “I remember feeling, like, when I heard that, I just knew … I knew when I walked in and heard the [rhythm], it was confirmation that these two guys were the answer to everything that I wanted to do.”

Since striking out on his own, the musician has won numerous Grammy awards, four Emmys and other accolades.

Watch JT reminisce about his decision in the video above, and check out the new episode of OTHERtone on Beats 1 on Sunday, April 3, at 12 p.m. PT.

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