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They may be from different eras but Ne-Yo and Shawn Stockman of Boyz II Men have taken notes from each other over the years. When the two recently met backstage at the 55th annual GRAMMY Awards, they sang each others praises.

“I am sitting next to one of the greatest songwriters of this generation,” said R&B veteran Shawn Stockman told the Hot Morning Crew of Hot 97.3/Hartford. Ne-Yo returned the compliment by explaining that Boyz II Men was one of his biggest influences growing up.

“In high school I wanted to be Boyz II Men,” Ne-Yo joked. “I was in a singing group when I was in high school and we would get together and do really, really terrible imitations of the songs. It was not as fly as they did it!”

Stockman laughed,“Our game only stepped up when we got a record deal! Trust me, if you saw any old pictures of us before we even got signed, it is ugly.”

Twenty years after that record deal, Boyz II Men is still selling out venues. Along with starting an eighty-show residency at the Mirage in Las Vegas March 1st, the group will be joining New Kids on the Block and 98 Degrees for the highly anticipated “The Package Tour” this summer.

Shawn Stockman knows how to make lasting music and he mentioned that he can see this same quality in Ne-Yo.

“There is no advice I need to give to [Ne-Yo]… He does what he does and he does it better than anybody,” Stockman stated. “The only advice I would say is to keep doing your thing.”

He continued, “I am not gonna lie, I don’t like too many artists these days because I think a lot of music is homogenized and just processed music… [Ne-Yo] understands the history of music. A lot of artists don’t really understand the history of music which is why [the music] doesn’t sound like something that can last a lifetime. [Ne-Yo] writes the type of music that lasts a lifetime because he understands what lasts a lifetime. He gets it.”

Watch the full interview here.

–Tyler Roman, Hot 93.7/ Hartford


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