Ne-Yo: Rep. Jeffries 'seems like he would have some soul'

Courtesy of ASCAP

According to Ne-Yo, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) may have another calling besides politics.

“He seems like he would have some soul in him,” the three-time Grammy Award winner told The Hill of the 43-year-old congressman (who happened to study law, and not music, in school): “Maybe me and Hakeem Jeffries would do a song together.”

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The chart-topping singer, 34, met with lawmakers, including Jeffries, during his visit to Capitol Hill on Wednesday, where he spoke on behalf of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) to promote fair rights for songwriters.

ASCAP representatives joined Congressional Creative Rights Caucus Co-Chairmen Howard Coble (R-N.C.) and Judy Chu (D-Calif.) for a panel discussion about the challenges songwriters face in the digital age. During the event, Ne-Yo spoke and performed songs including “So Sick” and “Closer” to a packed room in the Rayburn Senate Office Building.

“I speak on behalf of the songwriter as well as the performer,” said Ne-Yo, who has written hits such as Mario’s “Let Me Love You” and Beyoncé’s “Irreplaceable.” “We’re simply here to alert everybody to the fact that the person writing the song is not getting compensated properly.” 

Famed songwriter and ASCAP President Paul Williams and ASCAP Executive Vice President Elizabeth Matthews also participated in the panel discussion. The group says it seeks to “license and promote the music of its members and foreign affiliates, obtain fair compensation for the public performance of their works and to distribute the royalties that it collects based upon those performances.”