Prior to taking off as a star in r&b as a solo artist, Ne-Yo was actually a writer beyond the scenes creating hits for some of the biggest names in music. One of the first examples of his hit writing came on Marques Houston’s debut single “That Girl” from his album “MH” after leaving IMX/Immature. Hear, you can take a listen to Ne-Yo’s demo version of the song to see how he originally created the song for it to be recorded. Apparently, the song was originally supposed to be a single for Ne-Yo when he was signed to Columbia, but he got dropped and decided to use the song on another artist.
In an interview we did with Ne-Yo a few years ago, we talked to him about his initial success as a writer and the time it took for him to take off as a solo artist. Read what he had to say about that below.
YouKnowIGotSoul: You had a ton of success as a writer in the early 2000’s making hits for everyone. It took you a few years to get on as an artist yourself following that. Take me back to that whole era, do you feel like people didn’t believe in you or did you feel like you had to pay your dues first as a writer?
Ne-Yo: A little bit of both to be honest with you. Initially, when you are trying to explain to somebody who you are, it’s going to take them a minute to get it. It’s hard to take who you are or who you think you are and put it in a box with a pretty little bow. Of course there is going to be confusion and in that confusion just not be certain. That was a lot of what it was. Then the natural comparisons to Usher or stuff like that. Again, until you fully explain to people who you are or show them who you are, it’s going to be confusing. I wasn’t unrealistic about it, I knew that it was just a matter of time before people realize who I am and what it is that I do and that once they get it they would appreciate it. Sure enough, here I am!