The NBA playoffs kick off at the end of this week, which somehow means it’s time for a new song you’ll mumble to yourself in the shower every morning.
Seriously. Most recently, that honor belonged to Pitbull and Kesha’s “Timber” playoff remix, which was oddly pleasing to at least one South Florida-raised writer’s ears. This year, the NBA is going in a slightly new direction, with Grammy-winning producer and author of several bangers Timbaland creating new, original music for the Playoffs and Finals.
Yes, that’s right, the man responsible for jams such as “If You’re Girl Only Knew,” “Pony“ and “Work It” is creating music for the NBA. The beats debut Tuesday night on TNT during a doubleheader between the Thunder and Spurs and Grizzlies and Clippers. Timbaland was kind enough to email with SI.com about his new music, some past projects and much more.
You can also watch the NBA’s latest promo—with Timbaland’s new music!—below.
Rohan Nadkarni: I know you recently helped produce the music for Scott Van Pelt's SportsCenter, and now you're working on the NBA playoffs. How do you approach a project like this? Is it similar to your normal process for producing music?
Timbaland: “Yes, I wanted the energy in this spot to reflect how fast the game is.”
RN: What other institutions would you like to do original music for? Could you ever see yourself doing a James Bond song or a World Cup anthem?
Timbaland: “Absolutely. I love film and TV. I would love to do a World Cup song. Empire has really been a blessing.”
RN: Did you have a favorite NBA team growing up? Who would you like to see win the Finals this year?
Timbaland: “I really don't have a favorite team. I have certain players from different teams I like watching play.”
RN: If you and Magoo could take on any two NBA players NBA-jam style, which two guys do you think y'all would match up with?
Timbaland: “Hmmm that’s a tough one. MJ and Lebron!”
RN: To this day, “Promiscuous” is one of my all-time favorite songs. What's up with you and Nelly Furtado these days? Are there any collaborations on the horizon?
Timbaland: “I love that record. Anything is possible!”
RN: Obviously you have an insane catalog of hits. Is there any song or album that was your favorite to produce? Or what are some of your favorites, and why?
Timbaland: “I know this sounds like a typical answer but honestly each song has a different meaning to me. When I think about my music and who I was working with I think about what I was going though in my life at that time. They are all special to me.”
RN: Which artist do you think is creating the most interesting material right now? What music does Timbaland listen to?
Timbaland: “So many...Drake, Kanye, Justin, Taylor, Bryson...”