Ne-Yo: Talks Music, Heroes and Fashion

Photography by Jerome Shaw 

Entertainer/Songwriter, Ne-Yo

was the focus of a very special event last night (February 2). “The Gentleman”

appeared in NYC on behalf of Macy’s by way of the Alfani RED clothing

line which he is the face of and the RESPECT! campaign; a social action

campaign to promote respect in relationships and increase awareness

about the positive role everyone can play to help end and prevent relationship

violence and abuse. 

“It is a shame that it took

for the Chris Brown and Rihanna situation to happen for people to pay

more attention to Relationship Violence,” said Ne-Yo before playing

the world premiere of his new song called ‘Heroes’. The crowd of

journalists, photographers and industry professionals gave the song

a rousing applause for which Ne-Yo humbly thanked everyone. If you would

like to make a difference, you can download ‘Heroes’ for free at Alfani will donate $1 every

download up to $50,000 to the RESPECT! campaign. 

Ne-Yo made it his mission to

give a few minutes of his time before leaving to another

engagement. Ever since

the gentleman appeared, you haven’t looked

back. Talk about what inspires your fashion sense.

Ne-Yo: I dress for comfort.

It’s not always about wearing a suit and tie, although this style

is comfort for me. I don’t want people to think that they must put

on a suit and tie to be (look like) a gentleman. Being a gentleman is

about being comfortable in your own skin while realizing that when you

step foot outside, people are watching; people are paying attention.

You want to give them something that is worthy of who you are. You don’t

want to leave the house with your jeans hanging low, unless you want

to be judged for it. It’s a shame, but people judge books by their

covers. So why not put a quality cover on that book. I’ve noticed

the black and grey color scheme you wear. I’m very comfortable running

same color scheme. What will be your combination of choice in 2010?

Ne-Yo: I am on my black and

white this year. It’s easy and it’s classy and always makes perfect

sense. With the

passing of Michael Jackson, brought on more vocal comparisons between you and the King of Pop. I was wondering if any industry executives talked to you about continuing Michael’s sound.

Do you feel any pressure in the matter?

Ne-Yo: There have been a couple

of people that asked me about that. And I feel that I could never redo

what Michael has done. I could never do what has already been done.

But I can do my best to make sure that his legacy lives on. I will continue

to focus on the melody. The magic in Michael’s music was his melody

and his tone. So I plan to keep that going as long as I possibly can.

Could keeping his legacy alive possibly

mean covering one of his songs in the future?

Ne-Yo: Honestly, no. Because

I feel like in order to do a cover, you must make the song better than

it was or make it into something else. And I don’t think I could do

either with any of Michael’s songs. Who are you

currently writing songs for and with at this time?

Ne-Yo: Working with Jennifer

Hudson, Jamie Foxx, Justin Beiber, and doing some more stuff with Rihanna

real soon. I have a few artists of my own that I am working with, so

be on the look out for that. Plus I am working on my fourth album. Tonight is

all about RESPECT, so talk about your new single

‘Heroes’ and when can we get our hands on your fourth album?

Ne-Yo: The fourth album will

drop sometime in August. The song ‘Heroes’ is a different way to

approach the subject of “Relationship Violence.” It starts with

respect in any relationship. I feel that if you have the respect for

your husband, your wife, your boyfriend or your girlfriend that you

should have, you should try to be a Hero to that person.

For the rest of the pictures from the night, click here.