Jason DeCrow/Invision for Fruttare Fruit Bars/AP Images
Their new duet is called "It's All Good"—and that pretty much sums up the how everything went down between first-time collaborators Ne-Yo and Cher Lloyd.
The R&B hitmaker and the U.K. X Factor alum have joined forces on an upbeat ditty that, in a creative twist, was written with the help of fan feedback sent via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram—all part of a musical experiment spearheaded by Fruttare Fruit Bars in the run-up to summer-jam season.
"We both had a very, very clear vision of what we wanted this song to be," Ne-Yo exclusively told E! News as he and Lloyd sat comfortably ensconced in a plush couch at a swanky midtown Manhattan hotel, both having just flown into the city that morning to promote their new project.
Lloyd—decked out in a body-hugging blue-and-gold minidress, her brunette tresses tousled to an imposing cascading fluff—described the process as "quite quick," noting that she and Ne-Yo just "clicked."
"We didn't want it to be downtrodden or anything like that," added the R&B star as he lounged in a pink tie-dyed shirt and black pants, a narrow-brimmed fedora tipping oh-so-chicly over his groovy eyeglasses, with their black-lacquered frames. "We just wanted it to be a song that felt good, that sounded good."
It's just the tip of the iceberg for what the two have got in store for their respective fans over the coming months.
Ne-Yo revealed he's about to begin working on his next album, a follow-up to 2012's R.E.D., which he said will be "predominantly R&B" with less of an electronic-dance-music focus, and he's shooting to release it in the first quarter of 2014.
"R&B is my core, it's my foundation, it's where it all started from, and I don't feel like I've given it the attention it deserves," noted the singer, who says he's in the early stages of planning a U.S. tour but is still fleshing out details.
Ne-Yo also name-checked a wish list of collaborators he'd love to work with on his new album: Miguel, Bruno Mars, Trey Songz, Chris Brown—all of whom he said he has already spoken with about contributing to his latest effort.
"Lately, I've been focusing on trying to get a little more camaraderie in the realm of male R&B," the 33-year-old crooner said. "There's no spoken or unspoken beef or animosity between any of us, but there's not a lot kinship either."
To that end, he's hoping to pull together a slew of male duets that showcase their combined musical firepower.
"Maybe not all of us getting on the same song," Ne-Yo clarified, "but just doing songs with these guys—everything in the name of helping to lift the genre back up."
Meanwhile, Lloyd, who's gunning to make the leap Stateside following her success in the U.K., is working on a new album herself, and she said she's hoping to inject a more personal touch into this latest outing.
She's already gotten a head start: The 19-year-old songbird told E! News that she recently penned a song dedicated to her pop that she'll be including on her new album.
"I sat in the studio and it's the first time I ever cried where I'm writing," she recalled. "I'll remember that day for the rest of my life."
As for collaborating again with Ne-Yo? Both smile at the mere mention of it, and the R&B star promptly ribs Lloyd with some none-too-subtle hints: "You know, there's this guy, this little up-and-coming songwriter by the name of Ne-Yo that you wanna look up..."
Lloyd lets out a hearty laugh as the two trade smiles. Who knows? An encore just might be on this playlist.