Trey Songz: Drake, R.Kelly and Superstardom

French poet Victor Hugo once said, “Music express that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.” Tremaine “Trey Songz” Neverson breathes life into Hugo’s eternal sentiment each time his hand grips the mic.   Trey Songz’ heart is effortlessly shared with his public. A sincere prayer in dedication to […]

French poet Victor Hugo once said, “Music express that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.” Tremaine “Trey Songz” Neverson breathes life into Hugo’s eternal sentiment each time his hand grips the mic.


Trey Songz’ heart is effortlessly shared with his public. A sincere prayer in dedication to his family is forever etched above his beating heart. This tattoo is just one of ten. Although Trey possesses the vocals of an established R&B crooner; his mere being challenges the antiquated idea of what constitutes an R&B star.


As an emerging lyrical talent that is maturing in the spotlight, many have noticed his unwavering confidence, and are applauding his sense of self. Truly balancing politeness with professionalism catches up with Trey Songz to discuss his third album, Ready. We delve into the motives behind the “D.O.A. Kellz” situation and ask the questions that make the publicist jump in. There won’t be any more discussion of asphyxiation or any groupie tales, but this is a must read.


Let’s us break tradition and start this interview at the end, as it slowly unraveled even though there was no malice intended. Alternatives: Trey, do you mind if I begin to ask you more personal questions?


Trey Songz: Sure.


AHHA: On your album Ready did you write the track “One Love”?


Trey Songz: “One Love”, no, actually Johnta Austin wrote it.


AHHA: In your opinion is it written to display your love for an actual woman or is it a representation of your love affair with music?


Trey Songz: It could be used for whatever you’d like it to be. I think that when it was originally written it was definitely written about, the passion you have when you’re in love with somebody—the passion that you have when it’s undeniable love—when that’s the only person you want, that’s the only person you need in your life.[It’s like] y’all two are one and there’s nothing that can stop you. It’s funny; because, when you mention that; I had never even thought of it that way. That makes a lot of sense; you can look at it that way, metaphorically.


AHHA: Have you as a man experienced that kind of love?


Trey Songz: In some ways, I’ve definitely been in love; but, I don’t know if it was that love. I haven’t encountered that yet.


AHHA: Given your profession and your popularity, do you have the capacity to recognize and appreciate a good woman?


Trey Songz: I know the traits of a good woman and strong woman. I was raised by one. I’m not actually looking for one; although, one would be nice. I don’t have the time to give to a good woman; [the time] that she deserves.


AHHA: So, are you just enjoying a d*** slanging phase right now?


Trey Songz: Am I enjoying my d*** slanging phase right now?


AHHA: Yes.


Sydney: [VP, Publicity, Atlantic Records, who has been monitoring the call chimes in] Niki, can we keep these questions about the album?


AHHA: Recently, there have been a lot of different marketing tools used to help promote different artists upcoming projects. Do you ever envision yourself embracing any of these “trendy” marketing techniques to help bring popularity to your album?


Trey Songz: What marketing techniques are you speaking on?


AHHA: Sex tapes, naked pictures, Twitter beefs, things like that—


Sydney: [curt imposition] Niki, we need to keep this about the album.


AHHA: That was about the album. Trey, you have the last word, until next time, what would you like to leave with your fans?


Trey Songz: Ready, September 1st, it’s all love.


It was all good a few moments before this line of questions. Let’s start over.


AHHA: Ready, which drops on September 1st, is your third album; as a natural progression you seized more creative control. Which tracks best demonstrates your growth as a singer and as a songwriter?


Trey Songz: You got “Your Side of the Bed,” you got “Black Roses”—“Where You Are” just to name a few.


AHHA: Okay; how do you go about picking your singles?


Trey Songz: Well, actually, for this process, “I Need A Girl”, it wasn’t a decision, everybody liked it. The single joints just have kinda made themselves throughout this album. “LOL:)” was leaked; then in fact, [it’s] a record which is getting a lot of airplay now, [it] was leaked. “Successful” that is going on my album as well. It was already being talked about [as far as] getting a video [shot] as well, even before I had a verse on it. Everything kind of came to light by itself.


AHHA: Trey Day, your sophomore effort, only featured Bun B and Jim Jones; what propelled you to reach out and secure the features that you have for Ready?


Trey Songz: It’s only four features; Fabolous, Soldier Boy, Felon and Gucci Mane.


AHHA: What’s your secret to ensuring that your features are complementary and not overwhelming?


Trey Songz: Well, I think it’s a point to where, if you have too many features it begins to be a compilation. An album is about the artist who it actually is. I think that the [features] should be tasteful and that they should be placed throughout the sequence to where it makes sense. Sequencing is very important in an album, period. Like, you can have a lot of great records with a lot of great talent; but if they’re placed incorrectly, you won’t have a great album.


Drake and Trey reconnect…“Successful”


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AHHA: The word successful may be used to describe your career. What was it like reconnecting with Drake?


Trey Songz: Drake’s the homie; we’ve been working together for a while. We got together and recorded the record we recorded. We kinda sorta never lost the connection, as far as music goes. But, you know, we’ve been working together for the past three and a half years. So, to be back together, with both us of at this “idol” of success is definitely a great feeling.


AHHA: You’ve been nominated for many awards; the public is recognizing your talent. How does Tremaine Neverson define success?


Trey Songz: Success is within myself—success is when my little brother is proud that he has a older brother to look up to, that being me—success is being able to pay my Mama’s bills, you know—success—I’m already successful without the accolades. Tremaine Neverson, the man, is very successful.


AHHA: I like that answer. You’re staying busy, please tell me what’s cracking with the mini-promotional tour that you have to promote Ready.


Trey Songz: Right now, I’m on the road; I’m on my way from West Palm Beach to Miami. What we’re basically doing is different things with the fans and different listening [sessions] at the radio stations. There’ll be 20 or 30 at the max, you know, we be kicking it. They get to asking their questions; I’ll take pictures and sign autographs. I’ve been doing that three or four times a day in different markets. It’s a good way to touch bases with the fans before things get all crazy. They do Q&A interviews [with me] live on air with the fans. It’s a lot of press and a lot of meet-and-greets; it’s very hard work, actually.


AHHA: You sound a little tired.


Trey Songz: I’ve already been to Jacksonville, Gainesville, Tampa, West Palm [Beach], Miami; and I think I left out two places.


AHHA: So, how do you rejuvenate yourself; how do you stay fresh?


Trey Songz: I have to [laughs]. Even if there is no way; I have to. There’ll probably be one day a week where I get to sleep more than three hours. So, that’s usually all I need—just one good night of sleep a week—most nights I probably get three or four hours, if that.


AHHA: You’re better than me; I’m no good without sleep.


Trey Songz: I sleep when I can. It’s a hard job; but, somebody got to do it. I’m up for the challenge.


AHHA: Check you out; I like the confidence. When should your supporters expect a full-scale Trey Songz “Nasty-As-He-Wants-To-Be” tour? Who else would you invite to accompany you on the road?


Trey Songz: A “Nasty-I-Wanna-Be” tour? [laughs] Is that right? I’m working on putting something together; but, it’s not called the “Nasty-As-I-Wanna-Be” tour though.


AHHA: You can have the title if you want it; it’s not?copyrighted.


Trey Songz: Actually, I’ve been working on some stuff with Mario; so, that’s the next objective. From there, like I said, I’ll be doing things at small, intimate type of venues, like the House of Blues and things of that nature. That will probably take me to the end of ’09. By then I’ll take another look at my fan base. As far as the “Nasty-As-I-Wanna-Be tour”, I dunno when that’s coming.


[shared laughter]


Trey Songz takes a shot at R.Kelly for using Autotune


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AHHA: They say that retrospect provides 20/20 vision, with that being said, what do you think about the way that you voiced your dissatisfaction with R. Kelly and the prevalent use of Autotune on his debut mixtape, The “Demo” Tape.


Trey Songz: What do I think about the way I voiced my opinion? I wouldn’t do anything different.


AHHA: Since then have you reached out to R. Kelly to have a man to man conversation with him?


Trey Songz: No, I haven’t.


AHHA: Where do you draw the line between being competitive and being disrespectful?


Trey Songz: Where do I draw the line? The “Death of Autotune Kellz” wasn’t about competition—first of all. Where do I draw the line between competition and disrespect? In this game, you know, my competition is myself. That was the first time y’all have ever heard me saying something like that; because, I was disrespected in the genius that is R. Kelly. Outside of that I stay in my own lane, as a man, as a person, I won’t disrespect unless I feel disrespected.


AHHA: “Brand New” the companion single to “I Need A Girl” has glimpses of Autotune on it; how do you justify this?


Trey Songz: Man, there isn’t on the album, it has no Autotune on my lead vocals. My album has no Autotune on it.


AHHA: Are you one of the people who believe that it’s T-Pain’s niche and everyone else should set it down and walk away?

 Trey Songz – “Brand New”



Trey Songz: T-Pain can sing; he can sing without it. I think it’s cool; because, he started it—well, not started it—he’s the one who brought it back to into effect. I wasn’t speaking on Autotune, I was speaking on R. Kelly. Not only was it about him using Autotune, I’m speaking of him falling into the crevices, trying to be what’s current instead of being what’s in him.


AHHA: With R. Kelly falling in with what’s popular, instead of him embracing his natural creativity and just being the timeless talent that he; is that where you began to feel disheartened?


Trey Songz: I think that he started to follow the trends of what was going on. You know, I think that he was stooping to the level of those that—that make that kind of music, you know trying to stay current; but, in the process of it he ended slipping more than anything else. With the last mixtape that he put out, which is interesting; because, he’s never put a mixtape out. And with the last album he did, he’s never used Auto-Tune either; but, it had hella Autotune. It’s very T-Pain inspired; but, it’s all cool. I like “Number One.” I think he’s gonna have a good album.


AHHA: There’ve been constant comparisons between R. Kelly and yourself; have you subconsciously come to resent this comparison?


Trey Songz: No.


The End.