Ne-Yo Debuts Fruttare Song ‘It’s All Good,’ Talks New Material and Finding His Place in R&B
In April, Ne-Yo announced that he would be working with British breakout singer Cher Lloyd on a new song for frozen fruit bar company Fruttare. Now, two months later, the duo is back with the release of the new summer anthem, 'It's All Good.' The radio-friendly pop track showcases ideas that the two gathered from fans, who shared their ideas through social networks.
Letting the people be the source of inspiration was something new to Ne-Yo, but he reveals that the experience was a smooth one. "The songwriting process was super-duper easy, to be honest," he tells TheDrop.fm. "We both knew what we wanted to do. We both knew what we wanted the song to sound like. And we knew what we didn't want the song to sound like, which is more important."
"We came together, and there was less back and forth than I initially anticipated," he continues. "The ideas just flowed easily. When it was done, it was done."
Now that the he's done with that project, the Grammy Award-winning crooner has his eyes set on recording new material for himself. With songs like 'Let Me Love You (Until You Learn to Love Yourself)' and 'Beautiful Monster,' Ne-Yo has been able to tap into the dance music crowd as of late and widen his audience. While he does enjoy those sounds, he wants to go back to the R&B side of things.
"As of right this second, I want to go predominantly R&B," Ne-Yo says. "I have a love and appreciation for dance music and EDM, and especially that fan base because they've given me so much love. But at the same time, I haven't given R&B the attention that it deserves in a very, very long time -- at least in a few years. So my next album will be predominantly R&B."
However, he's not leaving his new supporters high and dry. "This is not me abandoning the EDM crowd," the singer explains. "I can't abandon people who've given me that much love. But I just need to figure out what my place is in this R&B evolution that is happening right now. It's my core, my foundation."
Ne-Yo defends the choices he's made musically by crossing genres and believes he never broke "the rules" of R&B.
"To put R&B over something that's a little more dancey and a little more EDM, to the person who's really listening, it didn't sound like I was veering off into something else," he states. "My voice is still my voice. I'll always have a soulful voice regardless what kind of music I put it over. I just don't feel like the doors should be closed to incorporating and trying new things, which is why I did what I did. But I feel people are close-minded in not seeing that as R&B music because it didn't sound like traditional R&B music."
With R&B in "a good place right now," Ne-Yo finds that old school supporters aren't keen on experimentation. "It's such a serious genre and such a classic and traditional genre that to put anything new to it is almost taboo," the crooner explains. "According to some R&B extremists, it could only be soulful and can only be for a certain group of people or whatever. I've never believed that. I've always believed that R&B comes from the heart and comes from the soul. It's the passion you put behind the music not necessarily the genre that the music is."
The 'R.E.D.' creator sees big things for the genre's future. And with the resurgence of R&B artists -- especially male singers -- Ne-Yo is navigating his way back to his roots.
"There's something going on with the genre right now -- something major," he says. "And I want to see if I have a place at all in it now. But with everything that's happening now with the more traditional sound [of R&B] evolving into something less traditional when you incorporate some of the old with some of the new -- which is what you get when you listen to Miguel or Frank Ocean or Luke James -- I feel like people are starting to pay attention again."
Listen to Ne-Yo & Cher Lloyd's 'It's All Good