Nelly is one of the four big named mentors along with Joe Jonas, John Rich and Gloria Estefan on The CW’s The Next that airs Thursdays at 9p and being a mentor and not a judge is why he signed on to do this singing competition show. I recently attended a press day with him and here what he said about that, “One of the things I like about it, is that we are not judging. I think that is the biggest thing for me. I do not feel comfortable saying, ‘you should be star’ and ‘you shouldn’t be a star’. I wouldn’t have liked that if someone told me that. I think the fact that we are trying to help artists that have already laid ground for themselves. I think that is the biggest thing.” He then added, “I wish I would’ve had that opportunity sometimes. Maybe things would’ve been a little different. But I am cool with who I am.”
The contestants on this show get 72 hours alone with the musicians and they get to ask their mentors anything they want. Nelly shared with us his advice to anyone who wants to be a singer who will not be able to spend three days alone with him. He said, “You have to love this game first and foremost. You see I don’t think a lot of people love this game as much as they think they love it. I think they love the idea of being in it. I think they love the idea of what comes along with entertainment and the business, but I don’t think they truly love the music. Because if you do then you would continuously do it whether you have made it or not.” He takes his advice to hearty because he added, “That is something I would do whether I got a deal or not. I would still do music. It may not be on such a grand scale, but I would still be involved in music.”
So what has he learned in the almost 13 years since he got his start. He said, “I learned it’s a hard road. I learned that hard work is inevitable. There’s no way of getting around it without the hard work. That is why I like this show because a lot of these people have already laid the hard work down.”
So what has The Next done for him personally, he said “You rekindle what it was for you when you were trying to get on. You reflect back to, wow I was in that position. I was asking those questions. I felt the same way.” He then added, “It makes you reflect, you know what, I was in that position. Damn, I was living in a small apartment like this and I was working at UPS.” He then shared, “It is also an appreciation of the love the people have for this game that you are in and makes you appreciate everything you have done and being here.”
So what is up for him next? His seventh album M.O. is due out this fall and the first single Marry Go Round is already climbing the charts.
Can’t wait for M.O. to come out then you can watch him every Thursday on Next at 9p on The CW!