While visiting the Windy City for a listening party for his new album R.E.D., Ne-Yo stopped by B96/Chicago to chat with Stylz & Roman about his VH1 Behind the Music special, what his fans can expect from his new release, writing “Irreplaceable” for Beyonce and much more.
As the featured artist of the most recent VH1 Behind the Music episode, Ne-Yo felt a need for his story to be heard. He explained, “I feel like there was a perception about me out there that I didn’t feel was fair. The perception that a lot of celebrities and artists get, that nothing’s ever gone wrong, and you’ve been in the position you’re in your whole life. Nothing could be be father from the truth, and I needed people to see that.”
Not everyone knows this, but Beyonce’s hit “Irreplaceable” was written by Ne-Yo, and it may be his most successful song to date. The Behind the Music episode revealed that originally it was a song that he sang as a demo, but Ne-Yo, Stargate and L.A. Reid decided that it made more sense with a female. What if Ne-Yo wanted to sing that track? “In a situation like that, where the song wasn’t written specifically for anybody, I can fight a bit more,” Ne-Yo said.
When asked if he enjoys being behind the scenes or performing a song, Ne-Yo compared it to “watching your little girl or little boy do something great for the first time. There isn’t a difference.”
The artist’s new album R.E.D. is an acronym for “Realizing Every Dream.” It’s crazy that Taylor Swift just released her latest album RED, but Ne-Yo is cool with it. “I feel like great minds think alike. I’m a Taylor Swift fan, and I have been since her song ‘Fifteen.’ I was like, okay, I feel you on that, and she wrote that.”
The first single on the airwaves right now is “Let Me Love You.” Ne-Yo explained how this album compares to his previous releases, saying “This album picks up where Year of the Gentleman left off. The only thing that I felt was wrong with the Year of the Gentleman album was that there was only one song on the whole album like ‘Closer.’ If you are a person that is new to Ne-Yo, but you like that song, you go and get the album, and there’s only one song that you can listen to on the whole thing.”
R.E.D. has something for everybody. “The album is split down the middle. Side A is strictly for my R&B fans, and Side B is for my Pop fans,” Ne-Yo explained. Check for the new album on Tuesday, November 6th. Or as Ne-Yo would say, “Go vote and then go buy my album!”
-Danielle Clasing, B96 Chicago