Ne-Yo Ventures Out Into New Music, Says He’s ‘Bored’ With Urban Music

R&B singer Ne-Yo, who is working on his third album, says he is “a little bored” with urban music. For his June 24 release of “Year of the Gentleman” via Def Jam, the 28-year-old, real name Shaffer Smith, is venturing into “more worldly” territory. “There’s some stuff on there that sounds like something the Beatles might’ve done,” Ne-Yo told Billboard. “There’s some stuff on there that sounds like something Billy Joel might’ve done. I can’t do just straight urban music no more, because to be completely honest with you, I’m a little bored with it. I’m just moving with what music excites me now.” Not that he is mad at urban music, after all his first two albums have both been certified platinum, and he has co-written such monster hits like Beyonce’s “Irreplaceable,” which spent 10 weeks atop the Hot 100 singles chart in 2006. An early preview does indeed indicate something a little different from traditional R&B: “Closer” is a Stargate-produced club track with pulsing strobe-light synths and a high-energy house beat that calls to mind Rihanna’s “Don’t Stop the Music.” “The records he’s written don’t just speak to young black girls,” says Ashaunna Ayars, Def Jam’s VP of marketing. “We’re trying to build an adult audience that appreciates his music as well.”


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