Ne-Yo wants to let the music speak for itself in new album ‘Self Explanatory’

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. R&B singer Ne-Yo is letting his music speak for itself with the release of his eighth studio album “Self Explanatory,” which came out last week.

The three-time Grammy winner said making music at this point in his career is easier and comes with less pressure.

“I think my definition of success is kind of changed a little bit. It’s not so much about selling a whole bunch of records and getting a whole bunch of awards,” he said.

“Now it’s about, am I satisfied with what I’ve put out into the world?”

Some of the 13-track album was penned during the pandemic, which he said gave him the opportunity to sit still and work on the relationships he was taking for granted.

One of the more personal songs, “Don’t Love Me,” began as an open letter to his wife and outlines the mistakes he made in his marriage.

In a recent interview with The Independent, Ne-Yo said he remained a fan of the music of R&B artist R. Kelly, who was sentenced last month to 30 years in prison for racketeering and sex crimes.

Ne-Yo’s contention that it is possible to separate the art from the artist sparked debate on social media.

“The man did what he did and he’s in jail,” said Ne-Yo. “That ain’t got nothing to do with the fact that he made, he wrote some amazing records.”

Since accomplishing most of his major goals, what remains on the 42-year-old Ne-Yo’s bucket list? Working with singer Stevie Wonder, touring more parts of the world, and seeing his children become pop stars, he said.

(Reporting by Alicia Powell; Editing by Josie Kao)

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