The chart-topping R&B star, who is also penning tracks for country darling Carrie Underwood and prepping for album number four, told Niteside last week that writing for Bieber is difficult these days because he is ready to showcase more mature music.
“Writing for Bieber, that was a little difficult because they said they want to grow him up some," said Ne-Yo, sporting a black fedora and Clark Kent glasses on the red carpet of the Angel Ball Thursday night. "So I had to talk him out between teen heartthrob and young adult.”
Ne-Yo said he also had to consider that the 16-year-old pop star's voice hasn't changed yet.
“But I factored that in,” he said, adding his own voice didn't change until age 17. “I kept the records right in that range, where it'll be comfortable.”
Bieber may have been born in the 90s, but Ne-Yo praised the youngster for having grown-up skill and said he “has the potential to go further than this teen heartthrob thing."
“I think a lot of people don't realize the kid is really, really talented despite the fact that he has dreamy hair and all of that stuff the little teenage girls go for,” said the singer-slash-producer. “He has some real talent. He can sing, he can get on that piano, he can get on the guitar, get on drums, he really has some talent. I wanna pull that out.”
The musical transition will certainly take some sacrifices, but Ne-Yo said he was a little hesitant on getting close to the young pop star's golden locks: “It might throw the world of his axis if he cut his hair. I don't know. ... That's a life changing decision right there.”