Trey Songz Takes ‘Control’ On Passion, Pain & Pleasure

'My biggest influence, musically, without a doubt is R. Kelly,' Songz admits of onetime R&B foe, as new album drops.

Trey Songz’s fanbase has steadily increased with each project, and as the singer released his fourth album on Tuesday (September 14), he reflected on the recent changes in his career. The Virginia native tells MTV News he has taken greater control of the musical reins with his new LP, Passion, Pain & Pleasure, than he did on last year’s Ready.

“As far as what I can attribute my success to, you know, taking charge of my career. Taking full control — from the music I make to the pictures I take.”

Despite public friction with R. Kelly, Trey Songz also readily credited the Chicago R&B star with influencing his material.

“My biggest influence, musically, without a doubt is R. Kelly,” he admitted. “I’ll stand on top of a mountain and say that, no matter what the differences may have been or what I may have said, or what he may have said. He will always be my biggest influence.”

While there aren’t any R. Kelly collaborations on Passion, Trey Songz does partner again with Drake, with whom he has enjoyed a run of breakout tracks, from “Successful” to “I Invented Sex,” on “Unusual.”

Earlier this year, Songz took full advantage of the “MTV Unplugged” platform by delivering a stirring show backed by a live band. Now, he’s riding the wave of his current single, “Bottoms Up,” featuring Nicki Minaj , which is resting at #20 on the Billboard Hot 100.

” ‘Bottoms Up,’ I feel, is a very creative video,” he told MTV News last month about working with Minaj and director Anthony Mandler. “[It's] different from me or what’s expected from me and anything I’ve shot for that matter. Anthony used a lot of different shooting techniques. I think it heightens whatever it is that the song has already — the drive, the vigor, the club anthem, the energy in the record is definitely heightened in the video.”

What’s your favorite track on Trey Songz’s new album? Tell us in the comments!