The long-anticipated inside look at the extraordinary career of the man who brought Sexy Back, the legendary producer in the pantheon of music greats as influential and groundbreaking as Motown’s Berry Gordy and a memoir of the creative process.
Hailed by the New Yorker as “the eminence grise behind half of what is great in the Top Forty these days,” world-renowned producer Timbaland has been a fixture on the pop charts, with more top-ten hits than Elvis or the Beatles. An artist whose fans are multi-racial and multi-generational, Timbaland works with the hottest artists, from Mariah Carey and Missy Elliott to Justin Timberlake, Nelly Furtado, Madonna, and his childhood friend, Pharrell Williams. Yet this celebrity is a uniquely private man who shuns parties, stays out of gossip columns, and rarely gives interviews. Deliberately choosing to tour by bus and conspicuously bling-free, he maintains a low-key lifestyle. If he’s not at the recording studio, he is at home with his family.
In The Emperor of Sound, Timbaland offers fans an unprecedented look into his life and work. Completely uncensored and totally honest, he reveals the magic behind the music, sharing the various creative impulses that arise while he’s producing, and the layering of sounds that have created dozens of number one hits. Cinematically written, full of revealing anecdotes and reflections from today’s most popular music icons, The Emperor of Sound showcases this master’s artistry and offers an extraordinary glimpse inside this great musical mind.
“A fantastically inspirational story about weathering the dynamics of the producer-artist relationship, the rigors of show business and one man’s insistence on constantly evolving, one beat at a time.” (Soul Train)
“[Timbaland] changed the course of hip-hop and R&B… The open-minded, genre-hybrid approach that dominates contemporary production would be hard to imagine without Timbaland’s example.” (Rolling Stone)
“The most important producer of the decade.” (The New Yorker)
From the Back Cover
Timbaland is indisputably one of the most innovative music producers working today. The Grammy Award—winning producer, rapper, songwriter, and composer has collaborated with the mega-superstars of pop, rap, hip-hop, and R&B. His solo album Shock Value has sales tipped in the millions, and the video for his international chart-topping single “Apologize” has been viewed more than 100 million times on YouTube.
The Emperor of Sound is an exclusive look at this talented artist and his extraordinary career. Here, as unexpected as much of what he creates, is an introspective memoir, revealing a modest and God-fearing man with an intense appreciation for the creative process, a humility for his musical gifts, and a unique understanding of what he calls “the science of hearing.”
Timbaland embraces and champions those who possess his same life-or-death passion for music: he reveals that it was Missy Elliott who steered him to own his confidence, that it was Aaliyah who inspired him to stretch his craft beyond boundaries, and that it was Justin Timberlake with whom he found an unprecedented creative chemistry, making “SexyBack” an instant classic. Timbaland also reflects on his growth and recent success in the entertainment business in his pivotal role as the executive music producer of the television series Empire.
Written with a cinematic flair and abundant with illuminating anecdotes about some of today’s most renowned musical icons, including former classmate and collaborator Pharrell Williams, The Emperor of Sound is an engaging memoir of a life in the works, showcasing the brilliant inner workings of a true musical genius.