Ne-Yo has been keeping up with the Carters: The singer and producer has contributed to forthcoming albums by both Beyoncé and Jay-Z, he told Billboard, revealing he’s still working on the former’s, and waiting to hear if his songs made the cut for the latter’s.
“I’m still putting stuff together for Beyonce’s album,” the R&B singer, songwriter and producer said. “They’re still trying to figure out what they want that to be, which I’m not mad at. Beyoncé’s the kind of artist where you’re not gonna see it till it’s right. And her fans – they love her so they’ll be patient.”
Beyoncé’s fifth LP has been in the works since writing sessions began in the Hamptons last summer, and she’s worked with collaborators like Justin Timberlake, The-Dream, Ryan Tedder and Sia. While neither a title, release date nor official first single have been announced, a handful of cuts have appeared, such as “Bow Down/I Been On,” “Grown Woman” and “Standing on the Sun” (the latter two appeared in ads for Pepsi and H&M, respectively).
As for Jay-Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail (out July 4th), Ne-Yo recalled a session with the rapper where he “laid down a couple hooks,” but said he doesn’t know if his songs will appear on the album. “The thing about Jay is again you don’t know until it’s done,” he said, adding. “I heard some of the new stuff. It’s amazing. With Jay-Z it’s hard not to be amazing.”
Ne-Yo also spoke about how Jay-Z provided some of the primary inspiration for his latest single “It’s All Good” for Unilever’s Fruttare ice cream bars. “I’m trying to escape the shackles of a pen and a pad,” Ne-Yo said. “I’ve sat in sessions with Jay-Z where he doesn’t write anything down. He’ll come up with the most incredible triple entendre all in his head – it’s amazing. That was the main thing that attracted me was just trying something new, which could be a new revenue stream in that regard.”
Other than his work with Jay and Bey, Ne-Yo also spoke about working with – of all people – Celine Dion on her upcoming album: Already in the bag is a cover of Adele and Daniel Merriweather’s “Water and a Flame” and a handful of other tracks. “I’m still writing for her,” he added. “I just recently got a call to do some more songs, so I know she’s doing some more work.”