R&B singer and songwriter Neyo’s known for his great love songs like “So Sick,” “Because of You” “Part of the List” and his new new album, Non-Fiction, dropped on Tuesday and in it he details the relationship with ex-fiancee Monyetta Shaw, star of VH1’s Atlanta Exes.
“Every single song on this album is a 100% true story. Half of the stories belong to me, going over some of the more interesting things that have happened to me over the last few years and what its like to be me at this point. You know what the climate is right now – a cat will do a song and have a hit and then next summer he’ll be nowhere to be found.
That I’m still here after 9 years and six albums I owe that totally to my fans. So I reached out to them on social media and asked questions about life and love and relationships and based on the stories that I liked, I turned them into songs. So half of the songs on this album came from my fans.”
But some of it came from his own personal life and his relationship with ex-fiancee Shaw, the mother of his two children. He say the song “Congratulations” was the one that was written with her in mind.
“There’s a song called ‘Why’ that kind of touches on my imperfections and the infidelities and then there’s a shorter song, which is after a bunch of interludes called ‘Congratulations’ and that’s the one that is a little painful for me. Even though I had to tell the truth about the situation, it’s not completely comfortable. It’s not completely about our situation, but it touches on our situation. It’s about being able to say ‘Congratulations’ after she moves on. She’s the one that got away.”
The first single “She Knows” with Juicy J is an uptempo, but don’t worry, there are plenty of the slow songs Ne-Yo is beloved for.
“I don’t play no instruments,” Ne-Yo told the Tom Joyner Morning Show. “Everything I do is by ear. Melodies and harmonies are all put together in the dome. I tried to learn how to play the piano, fingers started cramping, I was done with it. I tried to play the guitar, fingers started bleeding, I was done with it. I just don’t think music is supposed to be painful in that way.”
It obviously hasn’t hurt Ne-Yo, whose now on his sixth studio album in nine years. He’s also an in-demand singer/songwriter who wrote the Beyonce smash “Irreplaceable” and the #1 Rihanna hit “Take A Bow.”
Ne-Yo says that Irreplaceable was inspired by his aunt, who was mad about the song at first because she though it exposed her personal life. And that he was originally going to sing the song himself until he realized it wouldn’t work as a song for a male artist.
“Once the song starting picking up, my aunt was like ‘If there’s anything else you remember…my fanbase is female so I couldn’t do a song like ‘I could have another you in a minute, in fact she’ll be right here in a minute, that wouldn’t work.”
Ne-Yo says the song was rejected by several artists ‘that you know’ but their loss was both Beyonce and Ne-Yo’s gain. Nope, he’s not going to tell you who. But you’ve heard of them.
“I worked with a few of them since then,” he says. Ne-Yo says that despite the fame of some of the artists he’s worked with, once they get in the studio, it’s all about the work.
“I am blessed that I have yet to work with anyone that I just didn’t like. Once we get in the studio it’s about working to create the best song possible. It’s not about egos, it’s not about who sold more records, it’s about using that session to make the best song possible.”
After Red Tails, Ne-Yo was also approached to do several biopics, including both the James Brown and Jackie Robinson movies, both of which ultimately went to Chadwick Boseman.
“With the movies that I’ve done so far it was me being able to create a character versus a lot of the biopics that are coming across the table now,” Ne-Yo says. “To create a character versus trying to create a character that already was that’s a whole other skill set that I can admit I don’t have.”
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