Five Minutes with R&B Torch Bearer, Ne-Yo

13 years ago view-show 591,822

By Will “Deshair” Foskey


       Here at, we’ll do whatever it takes to ‘Make It Work’ all ‘Because of You’. And while you’re ‘So Sick’ of our competitors, we brighten up your day ‘When You’re Mad’. is going to do us, so we suggest that you ‘Do You’.


       Any diehard Ne-Yo fan would know that I just incorporated a few of hit R&B hits into the first paragraph. For those that allowed for it to fly over their heads, start from the top until you catch up.


      Ne-Yo is currently one of the busiest entertainers in the Music Industry today. So when you’re lucky enough to catch the Las Vegas born, songwriting phenom in between his busy schedule; in this case, ten minutes after he woke up in the morning, you have to be ready when your phone rings. You want you’re exclusives; we have your exclusives…


What do you believe was the best story you’ve told so far through music?


Ne-Yo: I don’t think that I’ve told that story yet. There are feelings that are going on in my life that I’m still trying to figure out how to trim it down to 3 minutes and 30 seconds.


What are the odds of ‘Make it Work’ being the next single off of your album?


Ne-Yo: Since ‘Do You’ is such a slower-mid, we’re probably going to go with something a little faster. ‘Make it Work’ is definitely going to be a single; I just don’t feel that it will be the next one. It’s either going to be ‘Can We Chill’ or ‘Go On Girl’.


Through my research on your influences, I was a bit thrown off. You’re quoted that Sammy Davis Jr. and Prince played a huge part in your growth as an artist. But when you open your mouth or perform on stage, people often compare you to Michael Jackson. Can you make sense of this?


Ne-Yo: Yes, I can. I looked up to Prince as a Musical God, because there’s nothing the man can’t do musically. I looked up to Sammy Davis Jr. because of his overall swag. Sammy Davis Jr., glass eyeball and all was a cool, cool cat; he was electric on stage. As for the Michael comparisons, it came from me literally studying Mike and I’m not talking about his dance moves. I can dance, but it has never been my forte’. When I was learning how to see, I hated the tone of my voice because it was nasally and thin. My mom used to listen to cats like Billy Ocean, Donnie Hathaway and Sam Cooke; singers with these rich, smokey voices. That was what I wanted to sound like, but I didn’t have that (richness). So my mom gave me Michael Jackson’s “Off the Wall” album and Stevie Wonders “Hotter Than July” album. She told me to study both albums back and forth and I would become a better singer because of it. So that’s what I did. I knew “Off The Wall” frontward and backwards. And she was right; I became more comfortable with my own voice.


When you’re name is brought up, longevity is not too far behind it. How do you feel about the fact that many of your fans who love you now, also believe that you will be the artist that they will grow old still loving?


Ne-Yo: Man, it’s a beautiful feeling. I believe that this is the one thing that every artist absolutely strives for. Every artist wants to be around for as long as they can be. I’m trying to have U2’s career. They’ve been at the highest level spanning for decades, making great music and selling out stadium after stadium and all of that; it’s a beautiful thing. I guess that if I just keep doing what I’m doing, I’ll be alright.



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