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Outstanding. That’s the first word that comes to mind when sought after singer-songwriter Ne-Yo is mentioned. From his work behind the pen for some of your favorite artists to the vocal abilities that he pushes through on his on tracks, the self-proclaimed Gentleman of R&B has given us hit after hit throughout his time in the industry.

Gearing up for the release of his sixth studio album Non-Fiction – which is set to hit stores on January 27 – the multi-talented artist has a lot to sing about this time around. Choosing to go a different route than with his previous albums, the “She Knows” singer called on a few lucky fans to assist in the creation of the upcoming project. With lead singles such as “Money Can’t Buy” featuring Jeezy, the Juicy J assisted “She Knows,” and the recently visually adapted, “Coming With You,” the anticipation for what Ne-Yo’s offering this time around is exceedingly high from fans everywhere.

Taking some time to chat with ThisIsRnB about the creative process of the album, using fans real stories on tracks like “Religious,” creating quality music no matter genre, the positives and negatives of R&B today, and more, Ne-Yo gave us one of the best interviews we’ve had in quite some time.

Make yourself at home with the exclusive interview below!

I know the new album is out next week. What was the process like when you were creating Non-Fiction? I know you pushed back the release date a few times, so I just want to know how it was for you creating the album.

A little hectic. This was my first time incorporating elements that are not…the way that a lot of the songs are written, is not the typical ways that I write. As you probably know, via my Instagram and Twitter, and the whole 9, I kinda reached out to my fans asking them about some of their stories. I wanted to tell their stories as well as mine. So just the whole concept of taking conversations that I’m having with complete strangers and turning them into songs, you know that proved to be – in some ways – easier than the way that I normally write, but in some ways more difficult. I don’t know these people and I don’t know if I’m properly representing the story that they wanted to tell. I hope I did – I hope I represented them properly [laughs]. But then on the other side of the same card, it’s real people and real stories. So, I feel like these songs are probably going to be some of my more relatable. Just in regards to the ones that were given to me by my fans. There are some elements of me that may not be relatable to the average man like dealing with fans and groupies and things of that nature, but aside from that, I feel like this is the album full of stories about real people. I feel like that’s going to be one of the things that’s going to make this album as successful as I hope it to be. People are really going to resonate with the stories being told.

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