Ne-Yo took a break because he felt “underappreciated” and wanted to see if anyone cared about him.
The ‘She Knows’ singer has been on hiatus for two years as he felt he needed more recognition for his pioneering sound and was happy to see people still “cared” while he was out of the spotlight.
Asked for the reasons behind his hiatus, he said: “You want to give people the chance to miss you, especially if you’re in a place where you feel underappreciated, which I gotta say is something I dealt with.
“Because I’m not this super-boisterous guy who runs around telling people [what I’ve done], people forget.
“Before ‘Closer’, there was no R&B cats doing EDM or dance music, it just wasn’t happening, ‘Closer’ was the first one.
“I didn’t get any credit for that, I’m not crying or complaining but when you don’t feel like people are paying attention in the way they should, you go away to see if they care – and people cared, so I’m back.”
Ne-Yo’s latest music video for ‘She Knows’ is set in a strip club and the 32-year-old singer wanted to show how pole dancers are “athletes” who can do things that “average women” can’t.
Speaking to ‘BBC Newsbeat’, he said: “Everybody has seen a strip club video.
“The track, when I first heard it, I was like ‘This is something I have to hear in a strip club’. So we knew we wanted to go down that route, but we didn’t want it to be typical.
“And on top of that, we wanted to show the art form that is pole dancing, it is not as easy as they make it look, those women are athletes, the average woman can not get up there and do that.”