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Trey Songz Sticks With R&B as Others Go Pop
"It's not even that it's real or fake R&B,' he tells Billboard, 'It's that you have a lot of your favorite singers making pop music right now.'
Trey Songz says the success of his new "Chapter V" -- his first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 -- is a validation of what he considers an against-the-grain musical approach these days.
"People were in need of real R&B and really appreciated this body of work from me when there aren't a lot of your favorite R&B artists giving you R&B albums," Songz tells Billboard. "It's not even that it's real R&B or fake R&B; it's that you have a lot of your favorite R&B singers making pop music right now. And in this time it was very important for me to stay true to myself and stay true to the music that's gotten me to the point where I am right now."
"Chapter V" is also Songz' second consecutive No. 1 album on the R&B Albums chart, while the gold-certified first single "Heart Attack" is nominated for a Grammy Award for Best R&B Song. He's currently watching "Fumble" work its way up the R&B Songs chart and says he's "looking to have it in a great place by Valentine's Day.
"'Fumble' is actually a song that came in late on the album," Songz says. "It's basically a song about having the one person that'll do whatever for you, the one person that'll go to the end of the world and back, and you not realizing it until it's damn near too late. It's essentially about having someone's heart in your hands and dropping it."
Songz is currently on the road promoting "Chapter V" with what he says is "the best show I've ever put together" thanks to an expanded band with a full horn section. His U.S. dates wrap up New Year's Eve in Houston, and he starts a European tour on Jan. 5 in Stockholm, Sweden, wrapping up in England during early February with a return to the U.K. slated for early May. "I'm spending a lot of time overseas, putting in work to become an international superstar, and it's going well," Songz reports. "The international portion of this tour is selling just as well if not better than the shows here" in the U.S.
Songz -- who's recorded recent collaborations with Rick Ross, Fabolous and Lil Wayne -- is also hoping to become a movie star in the new year. He has a co-starring role in "Texas Chainsaw 3D," which opens Jan. 4. "There's a lot of blood everywhere," reports Songz, who's also been cast in the film "Baggage Claim" alongside Paula Patton, Adam Brody and Taye Diggs. "It was a great experience seeing how things come together. I'm a big fan of horror, and to see it come to live was like, 'Wow!' John Luessenhop is a great director, and it was a great time, shooting. It was hot as hell, but it's a time in my life I'll never forget. It was very much fun, and I'll look forward to people seeing it."