Interview: Ne-Yo Talks About Past Experiences on NPR
Ne-Yo, born Shaffer Chimere Smith, recently released his 5th solo studio album this year, R.E.D., which stands for “Realizing Every Dream”.
Before his success though, Ne-Yo made his living as a songwriter-for-hire, writing mega hits for other singers. Ne-Yo talks about his appreciation his younger years and how he grew up in Las Vegas. “My mom was the picture of the blue-collar mom: Two and three and four jobs to make sure that me and my sister never needed, that was her thing,” the singer says. “She was like, ‘I don’t know if I can focus on your wants, but your needs you will always have. You will always have food, shelter, clothing. As far as the brand-new Jordans … yeah, maybe not.”
Ne-Yo’s name was given to him by a producer, who made the reference to Neo from The Matrix. He believed that Ne-Yo could do things in the music world that no one else could do, much like Neo from the movie.
Listen to the full interview on All Things Considered.