Justin Timberlake says Timbaland is like his brother.

The 'SexyBack' singer has a ''unique'' relationship with the record producer and rapper - who he has worked with him on all three of his albums; 'Justified', 'Futuresex/Lovesounds' and the forthcoming 'The 20/20 Experience' - and they know each other so well they can work together without even having to talk.

He told Rolling Stone magazine: ''We're like brothers. You have friends like that, friends you don't have to say much to, but you know they just get who you are.

''We go in the studio and kind of don't even speak to each other. He'll start tinkering around or I'll start playing some chords and start tinkering around with some loop of something and that'll give him an idea and then we'll start looping it and then I'll start humming a melody and then we just ping-pong an idea back and forth.

''We share the same perspective that we always want to make something that reminds us of music that we love, but at the same time is something we've never heard before.''

Justin, 32, also said he approaches making music like an athlete approaches his sport, and advises young musicians the best thing they can do is practice.

He added: ''I've always approached things like an athlete and there are a lot of good values in team sports. So if I could borrow one from them: practice does count.

''Listen to everything you can, even if it's a style of music you don't respond to.

''You can never have too much music knowledge.

''Music is one of those very interesting things that can inspire, remind, can help you escape depending on whatever the song is.''

'The 20/20 Experience' is released on March 19.