This finger-snapping song focuses on wanting to speak but not having anything to say. In an interview with with Zane Lowe on Beats 1, Timberlake said that the song was inspired by “recent misunderstandings.” He said: “We wrote the song almost a year ago, so a lot of weird things were happening, and they still are, in the world. It was the first song we wrote together. He kind of came in and I thought to myself, it would be really cool to see if we wrote something and we just let Timbaland and Danja just dress it and just see what happens.” Stapleton apparently came back to Timberlake with much of the song after Timberlake explained to him that “there’s always misunderstandings.” Lowe asked about a specific understanding from 2016, in which journalist Ernest Owens responded to a tweet in which Timberlake said he felt “#inspired” by Jesse Williams’s BET Award acceptance speech with a quick admonishment of the pop star’s tendency to appropriate black culture. The singer and actor responded in a patronizing manner, and later apologized for the entire incident. “I felt terrible, you feel terrible,” Timberlake said of the incident, “like ‘Oh man, that is not what I meant. Why did I do that?'” In an interview with Billboard Magazine, Chris Stapleton said that he hadn’t originally planned to contribute vocals on this cut, he explained: “I really just went out to Los Angeles to write songs with him. That was one of those things where there wasn’t necessarily a plan. He was like, ‘Alright, you hop in there and take a verse.’ I’m like, ‘You want me to do what?’ It came out great. I had a blast with him, he’s a great creative force and one of those guys that if you get a chance to work with him, you should.”
Release Date: January 25, 2018
Songwriter/s: Justin Timberlake – Larrance Dopson – Floyd Nathaniel Hills – Timothy Mosley – Christopher Stapleton
Chart Rankings: In the US, the song peaked at number 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the Adult Top 40 Charts. On the Adult Contemporary charts it reached number 16 and on the Mainstream Top 40 charts it was number 15. In the UK, it peaked at number 9 on the Official Charts Company and was certified Silver by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI). ‘Say Something’ was in the top 10 charts in Austria, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Scotland, Slovakia and Switzerland. It was certified Platinum in Australia and Gold in New Zealand.
Artist’s age on Release Date: Justin Randall Timberlake was 36 years old and Christopher Alvin Stapleton 40 yeas old when they released this song.
Cover Versions: Lloyd Griffiths – Sam Tsui – Talia Martinez – Nathan Shoemaker – Daniel Olenick – YellowMellowMG – Jamie Talbot (The X Factor) – Stan Taylor – Tom Thum – Paulo Costa – Travis Garland – other Youtubers covered this song.