“It was so amazing watching him just be a creative,” the singer shared
A crying emoji and a drawing of a river. The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. A collage of nineties boy bands. These were the clues Coco Jones provided her fans with when teasing the remix of “ICU,” her breakthrough single released last October. They didn’t point towards the artists many fans thought would be tapped to revamp the song, like Jazmine Sullivan or Usher, but its actual featured guest, Justin Timberlake, knows a thing or two about creating a soulful R&B duet, too.
The two Tennessee natives leaned fully into the nostalgic feel of the original song but switched up the second verse for Timberlake to take center stage. “Since you’ve been gone, everything been a mess / You’ve got a hold on this thing in my chest, babe / But I won’t settle for anything less but you,” he sings in place of Jones’ original verse about trying to move on with someone new but being stuck in the haze of her memories.
“I have a very very amazing, talented guy featured on the song,” Jones told Entertainment Tonight during a recent red carpet interview. “Justin Timberlake is actually on the ‘ICU’ remix. It was so amazing watching him just be a creative. We were collaborating on ideas, and I feel like the song itself is nostalgic in its own, so having his voice on it — and that soul, that element he brings — it’s going to be amazing.”
The “ICU” remix marks Timberlake’s first release of the year, following up a slate of guest appearances last year on projects from Jack Harlow, Calvin Harris, and Romeo Santos.
His appearance alongside Jones comes after his long-time collaborator Timbaland revealed in April that they’ve been working on an album together that taps into the same vein of “FutureSex /LoveSounds.” If the record does arrive as something of a continuation of the 2006 album, it’s fitting that he joined Jones on a soulful remix not unlike when Beyoncé joined him on a new version of “Until the End of Time.”