Photo by Brian Giandelone
Trey Songz, a rising R&B star, is on fire. His last album, "Ready," debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200, he toured with rap legend Jay-Z and won the 2010 BET Award for Best Male R&B Artist.
But he's never headlined a tour -- until now.
"(This tour is) for my fans rather than catering to someone else's crowd and having certain inhibitions about what songs you can do," Songz said.
The R&B singer will perform at Atlanta's Fox Theatre tonight with fellow artist Monica for his rescent tour "Passion, Pain & Pleasure." It bears the same name as Songz's new album coming out Sept. 14.
"It's the deepest album of my career," Songz said. "It's very much a mixture of the best music I made."
The tour will feature old hits and songs from his new album, including one of Songz' favorites "Can't Be Friends."
Songz' music is a cross between R&B and soul. His hit singles include "I Need a Girl" and "Say Aah." He has collaborated with other big-name artists including Gucci Mane, Drake and Keri Hilson.
"I take inspiration that comes before me, and put my own twist to make music contemporary with (artists like) R. Kelly and Marvin Gaye, putting them into modern feel," Songz said.
He grew up listening to soul artists including Kelly, Gaye, Luther Vandross and the Isley Brothers.
Songz is performing with Monica, who first became popular as a teen sensation in the '90s. Monica released a new album, "Still Standing," that debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's R&B/hip-hop album chart. Songz remembers listening to Monica when he was younger.
"Did I think I would be going on tour with her? No," he said. "She tells a different side of the story that I tell: passion, pain and pleasure. It's about all that she's been through for the public to hear. She's a strong black woman and good for young girls (to look up to)."
This tour will be a homecoming for both artists with roots in Atlanta. Monica was born and raised in College Park. Songz lived in Atlanta and calls it his second home. He said he loves performing at the Fox Theatre.
"I can look out to the audience and see their faces and they can do the same with me and feel my emotions with me," he said.