Grammy-winning recording artist Ne-Yo believes his music has been successful because it does not come from a standpoint of "I want to be famous," but a true passion and love for writing, singing and performing.
"I've never done this from a standpoint of, 'I want to be famous.' I sing because I love singing. I perform because I love performing. I write because I actually enjoy writing. It's a plus and a fringe benefit that, you know, I can actually provide for my family and, you know, a few people know my name — that's great," Ne-Yo shared with NPR recently. "But I honestly do this because I enjoy it, and I feel like you can hear that in my music — which, if you ask me, is why my music has been as successful as it has, because you can tell that it's coming from a standpoint of passion and love."
In related news, Ne-Yo credits L.A. Reid for taking him as he was, as an artist, instead of trying to make him a "puppet."
"The thing that made me even try it again was that L.A. Reid promised me that he wouldn't try to change me," says Ne-Yo. "You know, that was the issue with the initial deal that I had: They kept telling me that me just being me wasn't good enough. I needed to be sexier, I needed to be more hip, I needed to be more edgy and this and that. 'No, don't write that kind of song, write this type of song. No, don't work with that producer, work with this producer. No, don't wear those clothes, wear these clothes.' And I didn't want to be a puppet, you know?"
Ne-Yo has released five studio albums to date and was recently a guest performer at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo, Norway.