When it comes to playing double duty in front of and behind the scenes, there is arguably no other singer-songwriter this century who can boast the critical and commercial acclaim Ne-Yo has. In addition to penning top hits for some of the industry’s biggest stars, the early part of his career saw that penmanship lend himself a few chart-toppers as well.
However, as the latter half of his tenure has seen success wane, the Grammy winner (born Shaffer Smith) – as revealed in a recent sit-down with Joe Budden‘s Web series ‘Pull Up’ – opted to take time off to regroup. Over the course of that hiatus, he dealt with a highly publicized split from wife Crystal Smith (as we reported here).
That incident not only inspired his latest single, ‘Pinky Ring’ featuring O.T. Genasis (click here to listen), but a wealth of the content found aboard his forthcoming album, the yet-titled follow-up to 2018’s ‘Good Man’ – his worst performing LP to date.
Look inside to hear him wax honest about his career status, relationship with Crystal since the divorce announcement, and so much more:
6:06 – Beginning his journey into the music industry
11:00 – Beginnings at Def Jam
27:30 – The future of his career
33:00 – Comparisons to The Dream & other writers
34:40 – Discusses new single ‘Pinky Ring’
37:48 – Discusses divorce
47:40 – How “hiatus” impacted his career
50:50 – Collaborators on new album
1:02:02 – Writing for others vs. keeping songs for himself
1:07:00 – New album