Ne-Yo dropped by KTU in New York City to chat with Cubby and Cindy about his upcoming album ‘R.E.D.’, how being a father has changed his music, how it’s easier to write a song for a woman than a guy, ‘So Sick’ being about a girl in Las Vegas named Brandy, his drawing and painting skills, getting caught farting in the recording studio and his love for the Carly Rae Jepsen hit ‘Call Me Maybe’.
Talking about ‘R.E.D.’, Ne-Yo said, “This album is basically a celebration of my first love. A celebration of music. From age nine to now, every dream, every goal I set for myself has been realized through music. It’s just celebrating how good to me music has been. It’s also celebrating my fans. I have a very broad fan base. I have my R&B people over here, my dance and pop people over here, so this is honestly my first album where I paid real attention to that, so let me make sure there’s an even amount of R&B songs to pop songs on this whole album. Basically trying to please all of the people at the same time.”
On teaming with Sia on ‘Let Me Love You’, he said, “She’s incredible. I’ve been a Sia fan for a little while, since the Zero 7 days. They had no idea that I knew here and that we had been talking about working together when they brought me the track. They said, ‘There’s a hook on it already, we know you don’t normally do that but we really think this is something special’. So I’m like let me here it. They played it and I instantly recognized the voice. ‘That’s Sia!’ ‘Yeah, do you know her? She’s kinda new.’ ‘No she’s not!'”
As for how songwriting has effected him as a father, he said, “Not as much as one would assume. I’ve always been aware of the fact that I have a very broad fan base in regards to age. There’s little kids that listen to the stuff and there’s grown ass adults listening to it too. With that being said, in that I’m the kind of person that pays attention to who my fans are and what my fans want, I got to do the kind of music that everyone can listen to. I’ve got to do stuff you can let your little daughter listen to. You and your daughter who is 4 years old can sit and listen to together. At the same time I’m a grown-up, I’m 32-years-old. There’s some things I want to talk about that are not for little Suzie. That’s when you as a parent have to step in and go, we’re not gonna play #8 for little Suzie. Me having my own kids now just basically put the magnifying glass on the fact that as an artist, you have a huge responsibility to make sure these kids who are looking at you and emulating who you are and what you do have something positive to emulate.”
On his doodling skills put to the test on a paper plate in the studio they gave away, he said, “I’ve actually been drawing and painting as long as I’ve been singing, which is not impressive because I should be better at it than I am, in that I’ve been doing it for so long. Drawing and painting now is my escape from the music industry. I never thought I would need one. Music used to be my escape from life, and now I need an escape from music. Every now and then I get stressed out I’ll sit down and draw something, not that you guys stress me out. That wasn’t why I drew the picture.”
Asked if he’s ever farted in the studio when others later come in, Ne-Yo confessed, “Yes. (I) pretend it didn’t happen because nine times out of ten they’re gonna smell it but they’re not gonna say anything either. They just keep moving and act like it didn’t happen. Actually my people are pretty honest. They’re like, ‘Oh whoa, wait, hold on. What are you doin’ in here? Damn!'”
On ‘Call Me Maybe’, Ne-Yo enthused, “I love that record. I will turn that up in the car and let the top down in the most ghetto-est thuggiest neighborhood in America and not care. I don’t care. I love that record. That joint rocks.”
Watch the interview via KTU.com below.