Beat Notes

ASCAP: Master Session with Ne-Yo & Stargate


“Stay humble.”

-Ne-Yo at the “Take A Bow” Master Session

I’m just now getting to process the experience of ASCAP. Being sick this past week meant posts about ASCAP were postponed a bit. But, here’s the first of a few! 

On the first day of the ASCAP expo, there were three major sessions: an interview with Katy Perry, a conversation with Diplo & Big Sean, and a master session with Ne-Yo & Stargate. 

The first two were inspiring, without a doubt. Katy Perry discussed her rise (with a couple of falls) to fame, and how her songs are a “blackbox” for all of her secrets. Diplo & Big Sean talked about making it into the music business through some serious hustling, as well as their thoughts on motivation.

Ne-Yo & Stargate were a special treat, though. Ne-Yo originally started his career as a songwriter, with his first big hit being Mario’s “Let Me Love You.” In 2006, Ne-Yo and Stargate (composed of Norwegian producers Tor Erik Hermansen and Mikkel Storleer Eriksen) met and collaborated on Ne-Yo’s first album, “In My Own Words.” The hit single that the three co-wrote, “So Sick,” debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100. 

In the session, each of the three shared a song that had changed or influenced their own music. Hermansen and Eriksen are focused on great melodies and more simplistic backbeats (see “So Sick“), so I expected maybe classical influences, or possibly jazz. But I was surprised with their picks. Here are the songs Hermansen and Eriksen selected to discuss their influences in music: 

Little Red Corvette by Prince (no embed version available)

and one of my personal favorites…

Stargate told the audience that they were particularly inspired by some of the chords in “Human Nature,” and that those chords had inspired one of Ne-Yo’s hits:

Can you hear that? It’s genius. 

Finally, Ne-Yo’s inspiration choice:

Music is all about connection between artist and listener. “Suddenly” is so simple that the connection develops instantly. It’s hard to not be moved. 

This session was certainly one of my favorites. Ne-Yo’s “In My Own Words” was one of the first five albums I bought, and its still on my shuffle. Knowing now some of the background into how it was produced and the kinds of music that inspired it has made it an even more meaningful album to me. 

Thanks for stopping by.

Featured photo from heyadam.

This entry was published on April 26, 2013 at 11:29 AM and is filed under ASCAP Expo, Music. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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