Ne-Yo in Battle: LA
Having succeeded in the game for nearly 12 years, the Grammy-winning artist, Shaffer Chimere Smith, Jr., who we now know as Ne-Yo has proved to the world that his intentions to stop the climb to the top is nowhere near. Exemplifying the true qualities of a triple threat, Ne-Yo has mastered the art in music, dance, and acting while keeping his personal life together and transitioning into fatherhood.
2011 appears to be a great and productive year for the 28-year-old star who has a movie being released along with his fifth studio album later this year. Battle: LA is a project that has, according to him, challenged him for the better while allowing him to step out of his comfort zone.
“I believe in expansion and growth and trying new things and if you try something out and you’re pretty good at it, keep going. That’s just how I think,” he says.
He expressed his emotions towards his favorite actors—the ones that are willing and able to portray a variety of different characters while never breaking a sweat—the ones that he aspires to be like.
“Jared Leto, Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Bruce Willis—diversity.”
The directors goal was to shape the actors into appearing to the public as if they were real marines. They were thrown into intense training for three weeks that included them running six miles a day and waking up at 5 a.m.
“There wasn’t much I had to do to for self preparation because they had everything prepared for us. They were training us as actual marines, as if we were really in boot camp. It was extremely difficult to say the very least.”
The road to a successful film was extreme but Ne-Yo says it was well worth it because if a real marine watched it, they would be able to relate immediately to the actors.
During the moments he wasn’t filming he would run off to record music for his fifth album that will be available in a few months. Considering that Ne-Yo is a well-known fashion icon within Hollywood, expectations are high. With a grown and sexy vibe to his previous albums his loyal fans are anxious to know what his next move will be.
Born in the Deep South, his inspiration for music came from his mother who was a melody person that loved being able to relate to what she was listening to. “My mom is my hero but I have ‘My Four Kings’ who have inspired my music: Michael Jackson, Prince, Stevie Wonder, and Sammy Davis Jr.”
The creativity of this album sparked because of a four-lettered word: love. “Love will never go out of style, you will always find that thread in my music.” Shooting for a less complicated album, Ne-Yo just wants to provide quality music his fans can listen to. This time around it isn’t about experimenting like in his last album, Libra Scale. It’s about giving the people what they want to hear—something that would make them feel.
Battle: LA is scheduled to be released on March 11, 2011 and his fifth album is rumored to be ready during the summer.