Trey Songz Talks Becoming A Sex Symbol, Remaining Creative

Crooner Trey Songz recently caught up with Billboard for a cover story in which he talks about his road to being a sex symbol, remaining true to his artistic creativity and what the future holds. As far as changing his look and music to better his public image, Songz says “The public likes generic more than they like to admit, so that’s what I gave them — I gave them sexual singles and they ate it up.” Adding, “I gave them two whole albums before this one — on one I talked about a mother’s love for her son and a father not being there, and on the other I made a song about safe sex. They were well accepted but not as much as the records on ‘Ready.’ The singles were purposely very sexual to capture people’s attention.” But is ‘Ready’ more sexual than his previous two albums, ‘I Gotta Make It’ and ‘Trey Day’? Trey says not at all, they were just as sexual. “People say this album was highly sexual, but the first two albums were just as sexual,” he says. “If you listen to the ‘Ready’ album, there’s ‘Love Lost,’ ‘Black Roses,’ ‘Yo Side of the Bed’ — all songs that had nothing to do with sex, but were overlooked because they weren’t the first few singles.” Summer of 2009 was big for Trey Songz but did he almost miss his window? The single “I Invented Sex,” was the major start of his sexual saga but according to the songwriter, the song almost didn’t make the album. “We wrote the song and sent it over to [Songz] because I thought the song was a hit and a good fit,” songwriter Carlos “Los DaMystro” McKinney says. “He demoed it, but because of politics and bullshit, [the song wasn’t going to be released]. It actually leaked, and after they saw the reception it got, that’s when they decided to add it.” “Certain people at the label didn’t believe in the record,” Songz added. “It was said the chorus was complicated and wouldn’t do well in research at radio. We were asked to change the chorus so that the line ‘I invented sex’ came earlier. I wanted it to be a single and the label wasn’t onboard with that until after the record began to move on its own.” With Usher and Chris Brown having personal life issues, Trey’s follow up single “Say Aah,” took radio by storm and according to Billboard, it has sold 1.5 million downloads. “I prepared for ‘Say Aah’ to be a big record — I knew it would be huge. So when it came to shooting the video for ‘I Invented Sex’ I split the budget for ‘Say Aah.’ I think those steps were imperative to the success of this album.” Trey vows to not let success cloud his creativity. And he plans to continue giving fans what they want as long as it doesn’t compromise with his personal beliefs. “I do feel I can give people what they enjoy while still building what I want to build,” Songz says. “Because, the truth is, as much as I’m a business man and as much success as I had with the last album and as much as I’d love to duplicate and surpass that, I am an artist, and creativity is what’s most important to me. As artists, we sometimes have to sacrifice success for creativity.” In closing, Trey says “I’m having a very special moment — I’m at the best point of my career now and it’s only going to get better. I have people’s attention now. This is the fun part for me.”


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