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INTERVIEW: Ne-Yo Talks Touring The UK, R.E.D. Album And Working With Beyonce

EntertainmentWise caught up with R&B smoothie

Ne-Yo is certainly one of the busiest men in music but the singer kindly cleared some time to chat to EntertainmentWise ahead of the 2013 BRIT Awards this week.

The 'Let Me Love You' hitmaker is heading out on tour in the UK next month with his latest album, 'R.E.D.', where he will be joined by our very own Tulisa and Conor Maynard.

Ne-Yo spoke to EntertainmentWise ahead of the 2013 BRIT Awards (WENN)

Ahead of the tour, Ne-Yo has teamed up with Mastercard to launch a competition for one of his lucky fans to join him on the jaunt including access behind the scenes and even the chance to enjoy the limelight on stage.

Ne-Yo talked to EntertainmentWise about the competition, juggling his career with fatherhood and working with none other than Beyonce...

You've kindly offered one fan the chance to tour with you next month! Tell us about the competition...

Yes, one lucky fan will get the opportunity to be my shadow over four dates and it's everything from the stage to the backstage to the rehearsals to the sound check, to the meet and greet - the whole mile. They'll be there to experience everything I experience on a regular day of tour. The good, the bad and the ugly, so to speak.

Well, as the saying goes 'what happens on tour, stays on tour', but will you be well-behaved?

I don't feel like they would have the authentic experience if I changed anything so I just do what I do and hope that this person is not squeamish to me just being me.

Speaking of your fans, what's the craziest experience you've had with one?

My fans are pretty chilled, but there was this one girl, here in the UK actually, who had me sign an autograph and she went and got a tattoo of my signature. But I don't believe that's too far as long as it means something to that person at some point in their life. When she gets older it might not mean as much to her but who knows! But even if not, I hope one day she can look back and say I remember when I loved Ne-Yo. I think that's a beautiful thing.

Your latest album 'R.E.D.' stands for Realising Every Dream - have you finally achieved everything you wanted to?

I called the album Realising Every Dream because that's exactly what my album is right now. Once I decided to let music be my entire life I set a lot of goals and aspirations. I can honestly say that through the power of music, just about every single one of them has been realised. That's not to say that there aren't more dreams to be realised, every day you wake up you should aspire to something new.

The ones I made at 9, 10 years old when I first thought I was going to do this, all of those have been realised. This album is basically just a celebration of that fact. I would like to achieve more of the same, I've won a few Grammys I'd like a few more, I've sold a few albums I'd love to sell some more, I've done some great shows I plan on doing more. There are things I've never done like write a script and see it on the big screen.

You're heading out on tour with Tulisa and Conor Maynard. Why did you choose them as the support acts?

I'm super proud of Conor and all the things he's accomplished so far. He's the coolest guy, he's into fashion, he does this because he loves it. Not just because he appreciates the girls screaming - I'm sure he does appreciate that but I firmly believe that if one day there were no girls screaming, he'll still be somewhere singing and dancing because he just loves to do it and you can see that when he's on stage. And Tulisa, the Female Boss, there's just something about her confidence that I love, so let's get out there and give these people a show.

You've already worked with Conor on 'Turn Around', would you consider working with Tulisa in the future?

Nobody knows what the future holds! I'm not against it. I haven't got the opportunity to sit with her and see who she really is and what kind of person she is and to me, that means a lot. If you're a jerk but your music is good, the fact that you're a jerk is what first comes to mind. Not that Tulisa's a jerk, she's lovely but I just didn't know for a fact. I don't care if you're the artist on this planet, if you're an a*s, I'm not working with you.

Ne-Yo will be heading out on tour in March (WENN)

You've been in the studio with Beyonce working on her fifth album… Can you tell us anything about the tracks you've collaborated on?

I would if I could but I don't want Beyonce or Jay-Z to put me in a headlock! But I did go into the studio with and for her and I feel like we've put together some really cool stuff, I only hope the world thinks the same thing.

Beyonce premiered her new documentary, 'Life Is But A Dream', last weekend. She received some criticism for not being open enough in the film. Do you feel that's the case or are critics being too harsh?

I haven't got a chance to watch it yet, it feels like people need an excuse to complain as of late. Nobody's satisfied and to that I say shut up! I really feel like people need to just relax, they're doing too much.

The whole Inauguration thing and then the whole documentary thing, she didn't even have to do the damn documentary! She doesn't have to tell you guys anything, she has the right to keep her private life private if she chooses to, but because she loves her fans she decided to give you guys a small look inside.

Do you want to look at her while she's in the shower? Do you want cameras in there while she showers? Relax, it's not even that big, be appreciative of what she did give you because she didn't have to give you that. That's the way I look at it. The whole Inauguration thing, like, 'Beyonce didn't sing' - are you serious? You're really going to act like you don't know she can sing? Seriously? Cut that out.

I feel like everyone wants their 15 minutes of fame, everyone wants to jump up on their soapbox and have something to say about somebody they know nothing about. You don't know what that person's going through but because there's a universal soapbox now with the Internet they can say whatever they want and not be held accountable for it and people take advantage. I challenge one person that has something to say about the Inauguration. One person that could do it better. Exactly, shut up!

You're a father of two now, would you say parenthood has influenced your music in anyway?

Yeah, definitely in a positive way, I've always been conscious of who's listening so I try to make sure I tow the line between music that grown-ups can listen to and music that kids can listen to.

You've been an instrumental part of R&B music for years, both behind the scenes and as an artist. How do you feel when artists in the genre like Frank Ocean engage in feuds with one another and potentially take away from the music?

I don't think anything of it. Those are two grown men who are going to handle their business how grown men are going to handle their business. I wasn't there, I wasn't a part of it so I honestly can't justifiably speak on it. But they're grown ups and they can handle it themselves.

You were recruited as music executive of Motown records last year. What can we expect from the label in the coming months?

We've got a whole rosta of brand new artists from fresh faces that nobody's ever seen before so the focus are making sure that those artists are ready to start moving. So just keep your eyes open, we've got some stuff for the world!

Will you be bringing back the old school sound with Motown?

Maybe not the old school sound as much as the old school mentality. I definitely don't see making some of the old and mixing it with some of the new. You don't want to be so for the moment that once the moment passes you pass along with it. We're just trying to figure out what 2013 is.

For more information on Ne-Yo's competition, visit: www.somethingforthefans.co.uk.

 
 

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