With 15 Top 10 R&B/Hip-Hop singles, recent Grammy nominee Trey Songz who headlines Bojangles Coliseum Friday has proven his worth on the charts. Hell test his draw at the box office come January, when he stars in Texas Chainsaw 3D (out Jan. 4).
The self-professed horror buff is keeping mum on details.
Its a play off the original. This isnt a remake. I play Ryan the leading man, the leading ladys boyfriend, he says.
Chainsaw 3D picks up where the original left off (discounting previous sequels and remakes) before skipping to the present. His character is one of four young adults who accompany a friend who inherits the massacre house from a grandmother she never knew.
Director John Luessenhop, who also cast musicians T.I. and Chris Brown in his 2010 film Takers, tapped Songz for the role. Songz hadnt watched the original film before he got the part, but he was familiar once he stepped into the detailed replica of the original house.
Its Johns first horror film. Its not what I imagined my first movie would be, but it was a good role. It hasnt really hit me that its coming out (soon).
In the meantime, hes focused on touring in support of Chapter V, which cements his place as a young R. Kelly. On the new album, he hops between party starters, heart breakers and lyrics that would make a young Prince blush.
When being sexy youve got to know what a woman wants to hear; when its overtly raunchy and when its walking that line, he explains. It depends on the intent, too. Sometimes you want to go there.
For the more hip-hop centered club bangers, he steps outside the studio.
I actually leave and go to a club and get that vibe and energy. Theres nothing like being around music and seeing what youre feeling and then going back to work. I do that a lot here in New York and in Miami. Out in L.A. where I record, the clubs dont stay open as late, he says.
One of his tamer numbers, Heart Attack, is up for the Best R&B Song Grammy. His competition includes both of his opening acts Elle Varner and Miguel as well as Charlottean Anthony Hamilton.
Like many current hip-hop and R&B crossovers, Chapter V features a bevy of guests including genre A-listers T.I., Rick Ross, Diddy, and Lil Wayne. It was such collaborations that gave Songz early exposure in the business. He appeared on Trick Daddys 2004 album, and he and Drake collaborated early in their careers.
When you have a seasoned artist feature a new artist on their record, its because they understand the changing of the guard and being in that position, he says. Its great to have artists who stamped and validated (up-and-comers) early on before superstardom. Its another notch on your belt.
While his first two records were primarily solo ventures, his third featured the similarly on-the-rise Drake and Nicki Minaj, who shared the 2010 hit Bottoms Up with Songz. Yet offering each other a leg up in the business doesnt erase the competition.
The hip-hop community is very competitive, Songz says. You see rappers working together who are also competing against each other.