Ne-Yo Talks Life As Motown Exec, Promises Album Of Hits For All

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Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Ne-Yo the singer, songwriter and producer, has added another title to his name: Senior Vice President of A&R at Motown Records. He recently spoke about how he’s navigating the space between artist and executive.

While Ne-Yo admits that he was not pleased with his last album Libra Scale, which debuted at No. 9 and tumbled quickly, he told Complex he has higher hopes for his next work.

“I was trying to do things that I didn’t have a full understanding of,” he said. “…for this new album, I made it my business to make sure to go back to the old Ne-Yo so that it’s quality records…There’s definitely bass and cool octave beats, but there’s some dance and some for the ladies—a couple jams for them. It’s basically trying to please everybody. I know they tell me it’s impossible, but I don’t believe that.”

Ne-Yo’s new album, which will come out on Island/Def Jam, is also complicated by his new position at Motown Records.

“That’s a lot of responsibility they are putting on my shoulders; at the same time it’s nothing I can’t handle,” he said. “There’s a whole advantage being an executive as an artist. As I’m learning to dance, they are being patient with me in the process… I feel like they gave me the job because they feel like I know something about music—and I feel the same way.

He ticked off some artists signed to Motown he looks forward to working with, including Erykah Badu, India Arie and Stevie Wonder.

“Back in the day, Motown was on the pulse of young America. It wasn’t about just dope contemporary. It was pop, it was R&B, it was all of that… I feel like I am one of the few people who draw the line. I could do a record with Jeezy and turn around and do a record with OutKast. Not a lot of cats can do that.”

–E. Parker, CBSLocal


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