Ne-Yo isn't getting much sleep these days.
It might have something to do with the fact that the 35-year-old R&B multi-platinum selling artist and his wife welcomed their second child into the world last month just days after the release of his seventh studio record Good Man. And somehow, he still finds time to serve as a judge on NBC's World of Dance.
Though he's swapped songwriting sessions for diaper changing (he's penned everything from Beyonce's "Irreplaceable," Rihanna's "Take a Bow," and "Let Me Love You" by Mario) none of this has stopped the "Miss Independent" singer from loving life.
Before hitting the stage tonight at Chene Park Amphitheater with triple threat Brandy, Ne-Yo chats with Metro Times about fatherhood, surviving the critics, and redefining success.
"Being a father changed the meaning of music for me. Initially, I got into the industry because it was about my love of music. It
"Now, I've learned the power of music. You can change a person's thoughts, ideas, and beliefs with the right song."
"My definition of success has changed from when I first started. When I first got in business I had formed a definition based on what I had seen. Winning awards, magazine covers, hearing your songs on the radio all the time. That’s what I defined as success in music.
On making music in troubled times:
"I mean I don’t gotta tell you, the world is dark right now. We are bombarded with negativity daily. It’s a lot, man. It’s the way media is set up. If I could go back-back, you would hear something terrible on the news you could just change the channel. Every time something terrible happens now there’s no turning it off.
I’m trying to be one of the people pushing back in the realm of positivity. I cannot join the ranks of people adding to negativity. I’m not a thug, never been. I’m not hung up on money, clothes, and jewelry. I’m always about finding a positive way to deliver my message. That’s what I’ve always been about."
On being labeled artist vs. a songwriter:
"There's overlap. Songwriting was my first love. Moreso above that mainly because my artistic passions have fallen outside of music, I've been working on scripts and screenplays. I’ve picked up my easel and paint again. I’ve always been artistic. In high school, my friends were into sports and cheerleaders. And I was into art and poetry and I was into cheerleaders, too. But I’ve always been this way. I am an artist
Ne-Yo will perform with Brandy at 8 p.m. tonight, July 20, at Chene Park Amphitheater; 2600 Atwater St., Detroit; 313-393-7128; cheneparkdetroit.com; Tickets start at $46.