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.
“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