Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Ne-Yo's Ultimate Playlist

ne-yo1.jpg

US R&B superstar Ne-Yo is undoubtedly one of the biggest musical icons around.

His sixth album, Non-Fiction is due for release in the UK on February 16th, and should cement his position as one of the most talented singers and songwriters currently operating in modern music; alongside his own music, he's written for and collaborated with a host of A-listers, including Rihanna, Beyonce, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion and many others.

We caught up with him to discover his Ultimate Playlist - the songs which mean the most to him, and have shaped him as an artist through his career. Read on for some classic, and also unexpected, choices.

Listen to the whole playlist on Spotify here


Favourite Sad Song

"One that stands out to me - there's a lot of R&B stuff that I used to listen to, especially around my dad - but one that stands out that doesn't fit in with R&B is Total Eclipse Of The Heart by Bonnie Tyler. That's definitely a really, really sad song. I remember being a kid and listening to that song and having no choice but to cry every time that song came on. Just something about the dynamics in the record that I could feel, even as a kid, even now, I listen to it, there's bits and pieces that kinda connect to your feelings a little bit."


Favourite Song From Your Childhood

"I was definitely...kind of a weird kid I guess because if there was a song that had the right melody, the right lyrics, the right chord progression, it would take me to a place where I would actually cry - I'd be in tears. One which used to do it for me was Suddenly by Billy Ocean, which actually kinda still does! Definitely a song which will put you in touch with your emotions. Another one is Hello by Lionel Richie. I recall sitting in front of the stereo in the house, listening to those records, crying my eyes out, not knowing why I was crying. I remember that."


Favourite Movie Soundtrack

"The soundtrack to the movie Waiting To Exhale was pretty much, completely done by Babyface, who is definitely one of my idols, in regard to songwriting. I don't know how he came up with the songs for the album, I don't know how it happened - whether he watched the film and wrote the music, but that's what it felt like. It felt like every song fitted every situation perfectly. I was an even greater fan of him after that soundtrack came out."


Favourite Club Anthem

"Songs that no matter what's going on, you gotta get up and dance when they come on? Let me see...Michael Jackson - Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough - definitely one of those, Frankie Beverley and Maze - Before I Let Go. Michael Jackson's Off The Wall. Usher's U Don't Have To Call."


Favourite Wedding Song

"Songs that get the whole family up - that Frankie Beverley and Maze song - as far as my family is concerned, that'll definitely get them up! And anything from Prince - When Doves Cry - everybody gets up and dances."


Favourite Lyric From A Song

"The song - and again this falls outside the realm of R&B - a song called I Hope You Dance - I think it's a country song, but the entire song is a lyric to live by. "....I hope you dance". Just basically telling a person to slow down and enjoy life, as opposed to just rushing through it, like everybody seems to do now."


Favourite Song That No One Else Knows

"There's a few artists that come to mind: Emiliana Torrini is one. I guess it would fall under electronica. She has a song called Dead Things, that is one of my all-time favourite songs in life. From an album called Rarities that came out in 2010. It's just one of those songs - it's a vibe man, it's an absolute vibe. I don't really know what it is she's talking about in the song, but it's one of those songs where it's like, it's not even so much about what she's talking about, it's just about the way the song makes you feel. I don't know if a lot of people know her stuff but I'm a fan."


Favourite Song From Your Own Music

"There's a song on Non-Fiction called Story Time. The way that I explain it is, it's a lighthearted take on what could be a very serious situation if handled the wrong way. I'm particularly proud of this song because I feel like it's a very well-written song. I like the way that I put the words together on this one. It's an uneasy situation - it's a conversation that's happening in a relationship more often than not, as of late. It's never a comfortable conversation to have, but the song kinda takes the edge off of the situation just a little bit, and I was proud of myself in accomplishing that."


Favourite Current Song

"I like The Weeknd and the stuff that he does. I like the vibe of the stuff he does...it's very vibey, it's very emo. I'm a fan of what he does in his music. I'm also a fan of Drake, a lot of quality stuff coming out of Canada. I'm a fan of a clever writer - it's one thing to just say it, it's another to say it in a way that, y'know, makes a person think, or kinda forces a person to have to think a little bit and I feel like Drake has figured out the grey area between a lyric that is so clever that most people won't understand it and then just flat-out singing it, so that even the simplest of people can get it. He tows the line between the two: it's never too complicated but it's never too simple and that is a skill; that requires skill that a lot of writers nowadays don't have - so shout out to Drake and what it is that he does."


(Image: Rex)

Related

nwamovie1.jpg

First Trailer For NWA Straight Outta Compton Movie

hero_coolestalbums.jpg

The 50 Coolest Albums ever

GetLucky.jpg

Songs of the Summer 1993-2013

hip-hop-hero.jpg

The 30 greatest hip hop albums ever

hollywood-forever-rex (1).jpg

The 21 weirdest gig venues ever

1-velvet.jpg

50 Coolest Album Covers

Comments

More

This baffling tune about pineapples in pens is a legitimate banger

You need these fifty seconds of pure joy in your life

27 Sep 2016

All the clues that suggest 2017 will be the year of Daft Punk

We live in hope by Paddy Maddison

26 Sep 2016

Album cover models: where are they now?

From Nirvana's iconic Nevermind baby to Blink's Enema nurse by Paddy Maddison

26 Sep 2016

We went all the way to Ibiza to find the person having the most fun

A quest to find the person having it largest in Europe's club capital

21 Sep 2016

DJ Shadow's Endtroducing is the greatest album you’ve never heard of

Endtroducing..... celebrates a landmark birthday & it's as good as ever by Dave Fawbert

20 Sep 2016

Bros are coming back & here's why we should be celebrating

The hidden genius of their biggest hit by Dave Fawbert

19 Sep 2016

After Skepta, here are the next five grime acts you need to know about

Get these on your playlists right now by Dave Fawbert

16 Sep 2016

This is why, as they reunite, Aqua deserve to be celebrated

The story of one of pop music's great lost songs by Dave Fawbert

15 Sep 2016

11 times Kanye proved he's the most ridiculous guy on Twitter

Twitter was basically made for Kanye. Well, that's probably what he thinks anyway by Paddy Maddison

15 Sep 2016

Where are they now? Forgotten Mercury winners of times gone by

Speech Debelle anyone? by Dave Fawbert

15 Sep 2016