Ne-Yo has moved into a new stage of his career. The R&B superstar and acclaimed songwriter who grew up in Las Vegas and attended the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts is now 38, a father twice over, a converted vegan and an artist who balances his musical endeavors with acting gigs and big-time appearances like his judging role on Jennifer Lopez’s competition show World of Dance.
After topping R&B and pop charts with memorable hits like “So Sick,” “Miss Independent” and “Because of You”—plus club-ready collaborations like “Give Me Everything” with Pitbull and “Let’s Go” with Calvin Harris—Ne-Yo has dabbled in different genres while staying true to his own melody-first style. This summer he released seventh studio album Good Man, which has been described as somewhere between a return to the sounds that set him apart early in his career and a continued experiment with the flavors of the day. Dollops of trap and Caribbean rhythms sneak into a few songs, just as they do on most hip-hop, urban pop and R&B records these days.
“My definition of success has changed from when I first started,” he recently told the Detroit Metro News. “I make music for regular people. I don’t need to be headlining at the MTV Awards. If it happens, cool. But I’m not stressing about getting my numbers up.”
The writer of No. 1 hits like Beyoncé’s “Irreplaceable” and Rihanna’s “Take a Bow” is also unfazed when it comes to being categorized. “I am the kind of artist that doesn’t put too much merit into the genre of the music. It’s all music to me,” he said. “I normally am going to pick a sound that lends itself to the message I’m trying to get across. This time around it was about the evolution of a man, transforming into a better version of himself. An R&B sound was the best conduit for that message.”
Ne-Yo celebrated Good Man with a listening party and performance at the Palms’ renovated rooftop Apex Social Club a few weeks ago and returns to play a pool party at the Flamingo Saturday sponsored by LA radio powerhouse KIIS FM.
KIIS FM POOL PARTY WITH NE-YO, DJ DREW & DJ TRIPLE XL August 4, 9 a.m., $20. Flamingo’s Go Pool, 702-697-2888.