Trey sits with VIBE to talk about his mature sound on Ready (Atlantic), helping his fans make babies and why the boyfriend tag is not a good fit.
VIBE: Guys feel just as comfortable as women with "Can't Help But Wait" playing in the background. How is your fanbase so broad?
Trey Songz: I try to portray emotion in my songs. Even if the song isn't a soulful song, there's a way to sing a song so that people can feel you versus hear you. A lot of dudes from the pen, like [Philadelphia rapper] Cassidy when he was locked up, he said he listened to "Gotta Make It" everyday. I met a lot of dudes that connect with that. [There were] a lot of single mothers that were like "that was my theme song." "Can't Help But Wait" helped a lot women get out of relationships because of that." And a lot of women just love because I can sing well.
Do fans tell you that they've conceived children to your songs?
Oh, most definitely. I got babies named after me and all type of stuff. [Laughs] Dudes run up to me to like, 'Man I got like three kids off of you, man.' I'm like, 'What you mean, dog? You can't blame that on me.' They're like, 'That Trey Songz will get you a baby.'
You dropped "D.O.A. Kellz" earlier this summer. Can you see how that could be interpreted as being disrespectful?
I'm an R. Kelly fan. Yeah, I took shots at him. I want him to shoot back. I want him to come back. I don't want R. Kelly to die. But when you're on with Auto Tune on your voice and you're trying to do what these youngn's are doing, that's how you ex yourself out of the game. You've got to stay new, dog. And if staying new is staying you, then stay you."
Ed note: Kelly would later respond to Trey and other critics at a Chicago listening session for his upcoming album, Untitled (Jive). "What is an elephant supposed to do when an ant or a fly lands on you," he asked. "Those guys have some growing up to do."
Your first single was "I Need a Girl." You still feel that way?
Me having a girl is not a necessity. It's a selfish want. [On tour] when you're by yourself and you don't have anyone to call and explain your day, it can get lonely. You can have three women with you in one night and you can still be alone when you're done with that moment. Throughout the glitz and the glamour in this life I lead, I would love somebody for me.
"Hollalude" and "Holla If Ya Need Me" are both about breaking up with someone because the relationship became overwhelming. Is that method singing?
I had a girl for the last two years. It was not easy. She was a dancer. Both of us moved around a lot. It was hard to give her all she deserved. Having a relationship and being an entertainer is very draining. You can't call at the same time every day. You can't have long conversations. I more so decided that it wasn't best for us.
Do you see yourself settling down anytime soon?
Probably not. I can't do that right now. I can't give what needs to be given. At this point in my life, work will always come first." --Brad Wete