discloses. "[We] did some stuff that came out incredible. David Banner did an incredible record on my album... Just trying to branch out and try some new things and seeing where things go."
When logging studio time with respected producers, the singer-songwriter prefaced sessions by giving them one strict rule to follow.
"One thing that I told everybody going into this is, 'I don't want you making a track like you're making a track for Ne-Yo. Just do what you do and let the fact that I'm on it be the Ne-Yo element,'" he says. "There is no way to expand and grow if everybody you're working with wants to keep you in a box."
The new album also marks Ne-Yo's first release with his new label home. He moved over to Motown not only as an artist but to take on the position of Senior Vice President of A&R. Despite his impressive track record, he's still a little nervous about the gig.
"It didn't help for them to tell me that the positon that I hold is the same position that Smokey Robinson had," Ne-Yo shares. "If I know nothing, I know a little something about music. We're doing things that record labels don't really do anymore: artist development, making sure that they know how to talk, making sure that every time they touch the stage, it's a moment. There's a reason that there haven't been very many icons to come out of the industry in the last 20 years. Record labels are not putting in the time. Anything worth it is going to be a little different. I just hope we live up [to Motown's reputation]."
'The Cracks in Mr. Perfect' is due out June 26.
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