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Ne-Yo adds St. Lucia to number of things he loves


Yvette Best

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GRAMMY AWARD-WINNING singer Ne-yo has been bitten by the jazz bug and is enchanted with the beauty of St Lucia.Ne-yo, who was performing on a jazz stage for the first time, said he was happy to be in St Lucia and performing before the thousands of people who thronged Pigeon Island.Though he was only in St Lucia for  a few days, he fell in love with a number  of things.“I love the water. I love the people; everybody is really hospitable. I had fun,” he told members of the Press after closing the show at the 19th St Lucia Jazz Festival Friday night.He said he was surprised at the response from the massive crowd and that they knew all his songs.“I like shows where I don’t have to sing  . . . . [Where] I can just turn the mic to the crowd,” he said.Since his music is influenced by his experiences and life, do not be surprised  if some aspect of the country finds its way  into one of his upcoming releases.“I don’t doubt it,” he said, when asked if  St Lucia would influence his work in the future. India.arie’s work was influenced by her experience in St Lucia years ago as well. Her song God Is Real speaks about her exploits in the clear waters around East Winds Inn, where she swam and snorkled.Ne-Yo is going to be cutting down on gigs in order to focus on finishing his fourth album, and he has promised fans the usual quality songs and music. He will be releasing two first singles Beautiful Monster and One In A Million.  As evidenced by his offerings in St Lucia, which encompassed works he had done for other people, Ne-yo is a songwriter of note as well. Following on a collaboration with Rihanna that was recorded here a few years ago, Ne-yo wrote two songs on her new album Rated R.He said the local songbird was a good friend of his, and they would “definitely” be doing some more work together.With regard to working with other artistes in the Caribbean, he said he was down to record with anyone who wanted to make quality music.He attributed patrons’ familiarity with the music to the Rihanna/Barbados connection in part.“I know that Barbados is a hop, skip and a jump from here, and I figured you guys would be familiar to the music,” he said.Ne-yo was performing on the eve of Mother’s Day, and his mum was in the crowd. He said she was his greatest musical influence.“I probably wouldn’t be doing this if it was not for my mum. My mum was the kind that everything she did was to music. Whether it was cleaning the house, cooking or whatever the case may be, there was always a soundtrack to it. “My love and appreciation for music come directly from her. So, if it wasn’t for her, I probably wouldn’t be sitting here right now,” he revealed.  

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