Ne-Yo: So Sick Of Rumors

posted November 17, 2006 12:00:00 AM CST | 40 comments

For some reason T-Mobile must be rubbing their hands at the free publicity they get from todays favorite under 25 males. With the break up of Christina Milian and Wildin Out Nick Cannon being literally at the hands of a T-Mobile insider, a punch was thrown at Neyo thanks to a picture taken by a T-Mobile device.

After he was assumed to be gay, thanks to an imaginary testimonial during an Essence magazine interview which never happened and to an Essence reporter who doesnt actually exist, suddenly to add fuel to the fire a somewhat personal pic ended up on the internet of Neyo with an assumed video girl in a very intimate position. It was mentioned that the photograph was put out to end the gay rumor surrounding him, but Neyo denies that profusely in this exclusive interview with

Talking to him you have to admire his attitude to this situation. With fame there always comes hate, no matter how nice you are or how liked you may be and even though he still cant fathom out where the rumors came from, he gets that you just have to literally take the rough with the smooth to stay ahead in the music industry.

Here he talks about yes men, his role as Executive Producer on the MTV Save the Last Dance 2 soundtrack and just how his Momma had to check a person who talked bad about her baby. With a 2007 album release date to look forward to, Neyo definitely wont be stuck for content to sing about after this year.

How hard has it been for you to deal with your success?

Not hard at all, its a blessing. Ive been trying to do the music thing for a long time and everything is coming to fruition now and I am blessed. I thank God for everything.

A lot of people say there is a down side to reaping the benefits, you know a down side to stardom, would you agree?

Well one thing that I just got a strong taste of was the whole rumor situation. You dont want to believe that there are actually people in the world that dont want to see you succeed for whatever reason. Youve never met these people, never done anything to them, but for whatever reason, they want to bring you down. I didnt want to believe that there are people in the world like that.

Did you have any idea where the rumors came from?

No, they came out of nowhere. I dont know why anyone would have something against me. I did nothing to anybody, it is what it is. I am looking at it as it something that comes with the territory. It is part of the same page, you know you have to take the good with the bad and just learn to let things go.

Going back to success, how hard was it for you to get your situation as there is a lot of blood sweat and tears before those deals come into play?

Man... I have been doing this music thing for a really, really long time. I had a situation before this situation with Columbia Records and that just came from doing the song-writing thing, you know on a lower scale, just writing for other people, writing songs, referencing songs and sending them out to these labels to try and get a deal. The process takes a long time and you are going to hear no a lot, youre going to hear you are not good enough. You are going to hear a lot of negativity which you cant let stop you. Youve got to let that mess roll off your back and keep doing what you do.

Tell me what personality traits you need to possess to get you through what you have gone through with the rumors and to keep on the grind when it comes to the music.

Im more of an easy going cat, Im not that raw, raw dude, I aint tripping off that. I know that everything happens for a reason and that it if it is something negative going on with me, I have to learn from that. So instead of spending time dwelling on negatives I spend time on trying to figure out what it is I am supposed to be learning from this.

Many say all press is good press, would you agree with that?

Nah, look at Michael Jackson. Mike is in a bad place because of all the negative publicity that hes been getting, to the point where Im not even sure if the world would want another Mike record just because of all the negative press going on with him. Personally I would love to see him come back, but I just dont know how the rest of the world would be to see him come back. That is a prime example of negative publicity. Not all publicity is good. You can really get messed up behind something somebody said. But I honestly try not to draw on the negative. I try to take everything that happens to me, both negative and positive and use it as a learning experience.

Suddenly after all the gay rumors, these pictures appeared on the internet of you with the lady, these kind of obliterated the gay rumors wouldnt you agree?

I guess. The whole thing is stupid, its like the haters dont know what they want you to be. One minute they want you to be this nasty dude thats doing all kind of vile stuff, then the next minute you are supposed to be gay, its like make up your mind what I am. I am like what are yall doing right now? I dont know man. My whole thing is this, if nobody is hating on you, then you are doing something wrong. The fact that people are hating on me now means I am on peoples minds and means I am doing something, somebody is mad or jealous of me and whats going on with me because right now I am blessed. So I aint tripping you know, it is what it is.

After the success of the first album are you recording, you know readying for the second and is there a lot of pressure on you, you know a lot to live up to after the first?

Oh yeah. I think that the only thing for this one is the process is going to be a little different than the first because there is so much more stuff that I am doing now. I just finished up the Up Close and Personal tour. I head overseas for a minute and then after that I am about to do the Scream Tour, so I am trying to put together in the midst of all this.

After your first album, some think you should be used to the recording process and it should come easy.

No. I write from professional experiences. Through this year I have experienced more than I have through almost the majority of my life; there are just so many more experiences, from going overseas and meeting this person and meeting that person. I got a lot of new stuff to talk about and that is what my albums are always going to be about. My albums are going to mirror what my life was that year.

What keeps you grounded?

Mainly my family, you know my immediate family; my Mom, my sister and my crew, my click Compound Entertainment. I am not the man running around with six or seven yes men telling me what they think I want to hear. The cats that I roll with are pretty honest. If I do a song and its not hot, they are going to tell me its not hot. They dont look at how much money I made, how many albums I done sold and thats what I feel about these dudes, they real people. My Mom always reminded me to keep God first and thank him for everything thats going on because without him none of this is possible and thats all I need to keep in the forefront of my mind. After my record started doing well, every person I met was my new best friend; nobody had anything negative to say at first, everybody wanted to stay on my good side. Everybody was my friend and if you arent paying attention to whats going on you can get caught up in all that thinking it is real.

Yeah a lot of people unfortunately surround themselves with yes men and have difficulty in understanding what is really needed.

Thats how you get these celebrities with these videos and these big egos because they start believing their own hype. I never ever believed in my own hype because I knew what it was, just hype. If my second album comes out and I sell twenty thousand units and thats it, do you think I am going to get a phone call from half of these dudes, no. That is the reality of what I feel it is, I know what it is.

How did your Mother take the whole rumor thing?

She is new to this whole celebrity thing too. Somebody on a radio station down in Vegas said something, so she called the radio station. I told her Ma, you cant do that.

But she is just protecting you, being a Mother myself I can see where she is coming from.

I know she is only protecting her baby, but at the same time you gonna have to curse out a lot of people if you are going to curse out everybody that says something negative to say about me. Because as my celebrity status grows and things start getting better for me, its going to start making people even madder. More people will say negative stuff and its not going to stop. Like I said, it comes with the territory, it comes with the job.

So you can dead the rumor that it was a publicity stunt to publish the sidekick pic?

With so many people that are in my business all the time, like right now, why would I add fuel to the fire with a picture like that?

Now you just acted as executive producer on the Save the Last Dance 2 soundtrack. How did you get involved in that?

Just developing relationships with MTV. I went over there and met with them, you know they knew of me as a songwriter than they did as an artist at the time. They told me they were putting a movie together and asked me if I wanted to be part of the soundtrack, so I submitted the songs. Then from there they asked if I wanted to exec produce it and I was with it. I met with the Directors and the Producers of the movie and I guess they liked my personality as they asked if I had ever acted before and of course I said no and they asked if I would be willing to do some acting and I was like yeah sure and they wrote in a little cameo part and the rest is history.

It is a follow up to the movie with Julia Stiles right?

Yes, it is a continuation of the first one. The female character is supposed to be the one from the last movie, only it isnt Julia Stiles playing the part, but it is a continuation of the character.

Had you ever executive produced a project before, you know like your own even?

On my own album I wrote all the songs on it but it wasnt just me who picked what songs were going on the record, it was a collective decision at Compound Entertainment.

So that was your first job as executive producer then?

Yeah I was a little scared at first as I didnt really know what it was. I was like what is it that you are asking me to do as an executive producer? and when they explained that I had to oversee what music goes on the project, I was like thats easy as that is what I do.

Any idea when your next project will drop?

We want to shoot for Easter, you know around that time. Honestly I am not sure as I have just started putting stuff together for this record. I am only a few songs in and I dont know how it is going to sound yet or what direction its going to take as I have just started.

Is it good being back in the studio working on a project for you?

Oh yeah, I love it, the studio is like being at home. It is going to be an experience this time with things being so hectic. I get in the studio but I cant be in there that long as we have to be in this city tomorrow and that city the next day.

How do you deal with recording on the road, some people love it, some hate it?

Its cool for me. I just love the creative process. I have always been the dude where I didnt have to be in a completely quiet room all by myself, I can write a song in the midst of a hurricane. Im not tripping.

Who are you looking forward to working with on this project?

Due to the fact that I didnt work with anyone on the first album, the list is real, real long. I definitely want to prove that I can do it myself off my talent and not off the coat tails of some famous producer or some famous feature rapper that I have on there. I really wanted to prove that I can do it with my own talent. I feel to a certain extent I proved that. This record now I can vision features with this cat and that cat.

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