For the past few years so much of pop music has been infused with EDM. This craze has caused many an artist to hop on the bandwagon and Ne-Yo was one of them. He tells Billboard’s The Juice (rather boastfully it seems) that he was a “pioneer, leading people into whatever the next thing was gonna be.” But now Ne-Yo wants to get back to his urban roots. On his sixth studio album he’ll be abandoning the synths and bass production featured on 2012’s “R.E.D.” in favor of more soulful fair.
It’s not like the singer-songwriter hasn’t been successful in his brief time as a dance-pop artist. “Let Me Love You” has enjoyed plenty of radio airplay. Before that, Ne-Yo enjoyed his first foray into EDM-influenced music with “Closer” which hit number 1 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Songs chart. The fact is Ne-Yo’s an R&B artist at his core. Though this upcoming album may contain one or two danceable tracks, the singer will mostly focus on where he’s most comfortable.
It’s easy to just follow the trend because dance pop equals guaranteed hits, massive appeal and frequent radio spins. But Ne-Yo is doing what fits him and not what most people want to hear. Even if that doesn’t translate into big album sales, the singer has a gift for churning out hits. His crafted lyrics have generated hits for both R&B and pop genres for himself and the many artists he’s written for. He won’t be hurting one bit.