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Whether you’re a hip-hop fan, an R&B fan or a pop fan, chances are you have grooved to this man’s beats countless times over the past decade. Now he’s bringing you an album’s worth of tunes with a little help from his superstar friends. Meet Timbaland, the man behind some of urban music’s biggest hits.

“You can accomplish anything you put your mind to if you stay persistent and disciplined.” It’s the only quote in the biography on Timbaland’s official web site and it’s probably enough to explain the origins of the extraordinary trajectory of this producer/artist’s career. Timbaland started out as Timothy Mosley in Norfolk, Virginia. In school, he became friends with two artists by the name of Melvin Barcliff (stage name Magoo) and a certain Melissa “Missy” Elliott. Mosley started out as a disc jockey and went by the name DJ Tiny Tim. He worked on his musical skills by spending hours making hip-hop backing tracks on his keyboard. Mosley also worked with both Elliott and Magoo and soon the trio shifted base to New York.

Elliott was part of a girl group called Sista at the time and the group got their break after an audition for producer Devante Swing, former member of R&B act Jodeci. Devante signed Sista to his Swing Mob label, and through association, Mosley and Magoo also began working with the label. Mosley worked under Devante to begin with. He was the one who renamed him Timbaland, after the popular and fashionable Timberland boot.

DJ Tiny Tim was now Timbaland and he worked on several projects, all at the same time. He was part of Timbaland & Magoo, a hip-hop group, worked as a producer with Devante Swing’s Swing Mob crew known as Da Bassment, and with another young soon-to-be super producer, Pharrell Williams, as the ensemble S.B.I. (Surrounded By Idiots).

On their own, these two artists are contemporary superstars. As a duo, they have always been a powerhouse unlike any other. The association goes back to when they were both in high school. Elliott had heard Mosley’s work and was impressed by the sound. Soon she began to collaborate with him and when she made the move to New York, Mosley moved with her. He produced her songs and even remixed tracks that she had written for other artists.

Over the last decade, Timbaland has established himself as a producer extraordinaire. His rewards include a massive 5,000 square foot studio in Virginia Beach where he does most of his production, and his own record label called Mosely Music Group (MMG). The label kicked things off in style with Nelly Furtado’s album Loose which debuted at number one on the US charts.

2007 sees Timbaland bring the focus to his second solo album. Called Timbaland Presents Shock Value, the album is sequenced like a movie with a non-stop flow that tells a story. The album fuses genres from rap and hip-hop to pop, punk pop and garage rock to South Asian influences. The album also features guest artists including Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg, Justin Timberlake, Elton John, The Hives and Nelly Furtado. The first single, a track called Give It To Me, features Justin Timberlake and Nelly Furtado. In fact Timbaland was a guest performer on Justin Timberlake’s tour and this is where he debuted some of the beats and original music from Shock Value.

You can read the rest of our feature on Timbaland in the April 2007 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.


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