INTERVIEW: Ne-Yo Dishes On 'Push Back,' 'Good Man' Album, His Family & More

By Isha Thorpe

April 25, 2018

Ne-Yo is a one-of-a-kind star. He sings, he writes and he produces timeless songs like the musical virtuoso he is.

There are very few recording artists in the game who's music are considered timeless. Let's face it. In this day and age, many songs just aren't. The people who make these tracks, often times, try hard to be trendy and only go with the flow of what's already deemed "cool." However, singers like that end up falling short on the ageless side of things and before you know it, they've vanished from the spotlight. 

But, not Ne-Yo. His undeniable talent has kept him in the game for many years. From releasing chart-topping albums like In My Own Words, Because of You, Year of the Gentleman, Libra Scale, R.E.D. and Non-Fiction; Ne-Yo has been showing the music world and millions of its fans exactly how it's done. That brings us to the star's upcoming seventh studio album titled Good Man

The new project is scheduled to be released in June 2018. We don't know too many details about it yet, but it is going to have Ne-Yo's voice on it. So, we already know that it's going to be the business! Thus far, the talent has released a couple singles from the album, including "Good Man," and "Push Back," which features Bebe Rexha and Stefflon Don

iHeartRadio got the opportunity to speak to Ne-Yo about his new album, the inspiration behind it and much more. Check out the conversation below. 

Tell us about your new single "Push Back."

When I first heard the track, it just felt fun and energetic. So, I wanted to do a song that was fun and energetic. I love women that know how to dance, and even more so, above that, I love women with confidence. If you have confidence, you don't even have to be a good dancer. You can actually be a bad dancer. With confidence, you can pull it off, you can make people believe it because of your confidence. So, that's basically what the song is about. It has a Caribbean feel that I embodied. 

How did Bebe Rexha and Stefflon Don get on the track?

When I finished the record, initially, it was just moot. And I liked it. But, I didn't love it. I felt like something was missing. I felt like it needed something that, for whatever reason, I just could not deliver. And, the reason I couldn't deliver it was because I'm not a woman. I felt like it needed some female power. I felt like it just needed that vibe. So, initially, I didn't so much have an idea of who I want, but I just knew it needed a female vibe. 

It was actually a friend of mine who suggested Bebe Rexha. Stefflon Don, I kind of already been following under the radar, and the stuff that she'd been doing. So, I was already a fan. Definitely already a fan of Bebe, she's kind of a chameleon a little bit. She leads the pop stuff, she leads the country stuff, turn around and do something kinda rock. So, I just really respected that. Plus, I really like her voice. So, I put the call out and by the grace of god, they responded and were happy to do it, and the rest is history.

How was it shooting the music video with Stefflon? 

Well, one thing that you would not know about the video is that Stefflon was actually not there when we shot the video. She had to shoot her parts in London and then send them over. I just, I hope nobody noticed (laughs). She wasn't there, she couldn't come down to the bay for actual shooting. Bebe was there, of course. But, yeah. It was cool, man. It was a vibe. A lot of the dance sequences were free-styled. There were definitely some staged choreography. But for the most part, we just put the song on and we were just grooving. And a lot of that is what we kept.

Before "Push Back," you also released "Good Man," and that's also the name of your upcoming album. What was the inspiration behind that Good Man title?

The inspiration behind the title of the new album was basically just me paying attention to the journey that I've gone on. I'm sitting here today now, with my three kids, one on the way. My priorities are in a different place. Now, it's not about me being the flyest guy in the room and all that type of stuff. I mean, don't get me wrong (shows off outfit and chuckles).

But, at the same time, now it's more about being a good husband to my wife, being a good father to my kids and overall just trying to be a good guy. It's kind of always been my MO, but like with this album right here, I wanted to put a spotlight on it. Especially with this new climate... It's like this rape charge, and that sexual harassment case, and the #MeToo movement, and the Time's Up movement... For whatever reason, men have forgotten how to treat women. So, I felt like it was time for me to come in and lead by example.

How does your wife, Crystal, and your kids motivate you to be a good man?

Well, they are good to me. So, I try to be good to them. My kids are my world. I did not think that I could love anything more than music, and I was when my children were born. My wife is an absolute rider for me and an absolute soldier, and she deserves the best man humanly possible. I personally don't think that I'm good enough for her. So, my motivation for being what I am is them. Pretty much.

Photos: Rachel Kaplan for iHeartRadio

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