Justin Timberlake admitted he was inspired to be open with his music after realising he may not shake his 'pop star' label.

The 'SexyBack' singer was initially a little disappointed when reviews for his 2002 debut solo album 'Justified' kept him in the more mainstream genre despite his efforts in pushing for a more R&B-influenced sound after his time with boy band Nsync.

Speaking with Zane Lowe on 'Beats 1', he said: ''I was like, 'Wow I really made an R&B album.' I really wanted to make an R&B album.

''Then every review was like 'pop album, pop album, pop album' and it really did put in my brain that if I'm always going to be looked at as a pop artist, more than anything, what does that mean?''

However, the comments from critics lit something of a fire under the 'Rock Your Body' singer, who took it as an opportunity to ignore labels and just make the music he wanted to make.

He added: ''I just felt like, 'Let me do whatever the f**k I want.' I'm going to do whatever I want.''

JT has teamed up with Timbaland for his new album 'Man of the Woods', and he revealed the idea behind the record came from yers of conversation with super producer Pharrell Williams.

Opening up about the LP's Southern Americana sound, he explained: ''There's this sonic real estate that's so available. [Pharrell] kept pushing me and pushing me to say, 'No but you're the guy who has to do it because you're from there'.

''You can put a positive thing out there about the South and we can do it with sound. He kept telling me, 'I can hear it.'''