Ne-Yo Pens Tunes for Justin Bieber, Rihanna
R&B musician juggles multiple projects, including new album 'Libra Scale,' due Nov. 22, and screenwriting a superhero film.
Ne-Yo may be preparing for the release of his fourth album, Libra Scale, and its corresponding comic book, but the R&B star has also been busy writing songs for a variety of pop artists, including Justin Bieber, Rihanna and Beyonce, as well as country stars like Carrie Underwood and Tim McGraw.
Of the Bieber collaboration, Ne-Yo tells Billboard.com that he and the pop star are "just writing some songs," and that he wanted to emphasize the 16-year-old's more mature side. "I think he has the kind of talent that will carry. He just needs tangible records, the kind of records that will grow with him and allow his fans to grow with him," Ne-Yo says. "That's why they came to me and that's what I gave them ... [The songs] are not so grown where it's like, 'He doesn't know anything about that stuff,' but it's not bubblegum kiddie stuff, either."
"I'm trying to expand, trying to do it all," Ne-Yo says, adding that he'll also hit the studio with Jennifer Hudson and Monica soon.
After initially being slated for a Sept. 21 release, Ne-Yo's Libra Scale will hit stores on Nov. 22 with three long-form music videos for singles "Beautiful Monster," "Champagne Life" and "One in a Million," accompanying its deluxe edition. The videos represent a stripped-down version of the 147-page script that Ne-Yo wrote as a possible feature film earlier this year, which was nixed due to a projected $40 million budget.
Although the script was eventually turned into the long-form videos and the Libra Scale comic series, Ne-Yo hopes to continue sharpening his screenwriting skills -- possibly on a comic book adaptation.
"There's a book called The New Warriors, about a group of rag-tag superheroes," says Ne-Yo, who appeared alongside former Marvel Comics president Stan Lee at New York Comic Con earlier this month. "It's just a cool story, it would be like today's superheroes. I want to write it and talk to some movie companies about getting it made, and maybe even play a role in it."