Ne-Yo has a dilemma on his hands. He has dozens of songs he wrote for Michael and he can’t decide what to do with them.
Not knowing what to expect when Will.I.Am introduced him to Michael in 2008, Ne-Yo was captivated by Michael’s attitude to his music and deliberately wrote songs with Michael in mind as the only singer for them. He says he won’t release them to other artists to consider, nor will he sing them himself, as in his mind, they are specifically for Michael.
Ne-yo, who’s currently in Australia for the Winterbeatz Festival Tour said; “I can’t sell them on to someone else as that would be disrespectful, but I also think it might be disrespectful to bring them out myself. So I don’t know, I’ll sit on them and wait. It’s definitely quality music but they were songs written absolutely for Michael Jackson.”
On Michael Ne-Yo says; “… he walked in, in a black suit and some sun glasses and was a genuine nice guy. And it wasn’t because he wanted something from me. He just had no reason other than to be a decent guy. We talked about the state of music, what he liked and didn’t like. One thing that was interesting is that he views music in shapes and colours and that’s how I think. He told me he admired my music and I could have fainted right there. I was like, `You like my music? You’re the reason I make music’. So I wanted to bring something good to the table.”
Ne-Yo set to work on a variety of songs ranging from upbeat dance tracks to heartfelt ballads, sending three or four drafts a week over to Michael. “Melodic and meaningful. Those were the two words which kept coming back to me,” he said. “Michael told me the melodies needed to be the ones you heard once and could sing back, and the lyrics needed to have meaning and depth.
He believed what was wrong with a lot of music today is that people aren’t singing about anything. If it’s not about a party or sex then it’s about money, and there’s not really much to that. Michael told me, ‘I need songs that mean something to somebody and that’s what I need you for’. I was honoured. Hopefully the songs will see the light of day, it just has to be the right way.”