In less than three years NSYNC, which includes Lance Bass, JC Chasez, Joey Fatone, Chris Kirkpatrick and Justin Timberlake, have obtained global stardom. Their self-titled 1998 debut album sold over ten million copies and yielded four number one singles: "I Want You Back," "TearingUp MHeart," "God Must Have Spent a Little More Time on You," and "Drive Myself Crazy." They've toured nonstop, doing more than 300 concerts in the last year. They recorded hits with other artists including Gloria Estefan and Alabama, and releases Christmas EP, "Home For Christmas." They've changed record labels and management, won numerous awards including a 1999 American Music Award for "best New Pop/Rock Group," embarked on some solo projects and recorded a new album for Jive Records.
Just months before the release of "No Strings Attached," *NSYNCs eagerly awaited debut album off of Jive Records, the group set a new pop music benchmark. The first single from the disc "Bye Bye Bye," an explosive, rhythmic melody bearing *NSYNC's trademark harmonies, became the most added Contemporary Hit Radio single of all time.
"It was a challenge doing this record," Justin admits. "Picking out the right songs that fit where you want to go musically: where you want to take your fans. We went through a lot of things in 1999 and we went through them really fast. We have a very broad sound and there are some different directions we can take it, so we did as much of that as we could on this album. That's why we called the album "No Strings Attached." "We have no strings to hold us down. We're ready to show the world that."
"We did this album independently," Chris adds. "A lot of the songs were written and produced in-house. We're excited about this album!"
The songs on "No Strings Attached" not only display *NSYNC's wide musical range, but also showcase their artistic growth. From the well-known, pop-flavored Max Martin tunes "Bye Bye Bye" and "It's Gonna Be Me," to the melodious Richard Marx ballad "This I Promise You" and Diane Warren's dreamy "That's When I'll Stop Loving You" to JC's own hip hop influenced, up tempo compositions "Space Cowboy," "No Strings Attached" "Bring in the Noise," and "Digital Getdown" to the group's funky cover of Johnny Kemp's 1988 dance hit "Just Got Paid," *NSYNC always hits the groove.
One of the best surprises of "No Strings Attached," is JC's emergence as a songwriter and producer, with four impressive tracks. "The songs that I did like "No Strings Attached," the idea just hit me overnight," he says. "Space Cowboy" was just a sign of the times, with all the Y2K bug going on and everyone screaming millennium this, millennium that, I came up with a new song which asked the question, 'If the world ended tomorrow what would we do?' We'd be cowboys in outer space, we'd be exploring new frontiers. "Digital Getdown" is also a sign of the times. Technology is everywhere and the Internet is the thing to do. It's about people hopping online and hooking up with each other. "Bring in the Noise" was about a basketball game, what it's like as a basketball player playing the game.
"Everything on this album is well thought out and put together. There were no half steps. Every knob was tweaked. Every button pushed to make this the best sounding album it could be," JC adds. "A lot of my dreams were fulfilled in this album. Richard Marx was one of my idols growing up. The first song I ever sang in public was one of his."
"We worked with Teddy Riley and She'kspeare on this record, people we look up to in the business," Justin adds, "I grew up listening to Teddy Riley, Guy and his production on Micheal Jackson."
TLC's Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes does a guest rap on "Space Cowboy." Swedens's Chelrom Production team Max Martin, Rami, Andreas Carlsson and Kristian Lundin also contribute to the album.
Along with their success as a group, each member of *NSYNC is also determind to make his own mark. Lance recently made his acting debut on the hit television series "7th Heaven" and has formed his own management company Freelance Entertainment. Joey produced an acting handbook for students, written by Karen Rugeria, his former drama coach in Orlando. In addition to contributing songs and co-producing tracks on "No Strings Attached," JC's been writing and producing tracks for carious artists including female trio Wild Orchid and Boyz & Girlz United. Chris has started a clothing, visual art and music production company called FuMan Skeeto. Justin appeared in the World of Walt Disney feature "Model Behavior," co-starring Maggie Lawson from "Party of Five" and has started the Music Education Awareness Program, The Justin Timberlake Foundation.