Vetta Borne
Vetta Borne | Credit: Cal Foster

Love Letter to a Record: Vetta Borne on Ne-Yo’s ‘Because of You’

Music Feeds’ Love Letter to a Record series asks artists to reflect on their relationship with the music they love and share stories about how it has influenced their lives. Here, Vetta Borne pays tribute to Ne-Yo’s 2000s R&B classic Because of You (2007).

Vetta Borne is the moniker of Melbourne-based performer Maribelle Añes. The artist’s latest EP, Rose Avenue Vol .1, includes the singles ‘Say Less’ and ‘Sad Girl’, the latter of which features co-production from Josh Fountain (Benee, Ladyhawke). Vetta Borne’s previous two EPs, Violeta (2020) and Emelia (2021), resonated with a national audience, while Borne’s 2020 single ‘Girls’ made an impression on listeners on the other side of the planet.

Vetta Borne’s Love Letter to Ne-Yo’s ‘Because of You’

Vetta Borne: This album and this artist right here is the entire reason I really dove in and took an interest in songwriting. I had always been into singing – I was raised in a Filipino family where karaoke skills are crucial – but Ne-Yo was the first person I learned wrote songs for other artists (e.g. Rihanna’s ‘Take A Bow’, Keri Hilson’s ‘Pretty Girl Rock’, Beyoncé’s ‘Irreplaceable’).

I thought it was so interesting that Ne-Yo was able to write a song from another person’s – and a woman’s – perspective and nail the emotion of what somebody else would feel.

I got Because of You as a Christmas present and I instantly fell in love with it. The funk in the production, the vocal percussion Ne-Yo does, similar to Janet Jackson, who is another favourite of mine, the soft and metaphoric lyrics, the pretty R&B melodies. Everything about it definitely influenced the way I write to this day.

Every day when I came home from school, I would listen to this album and try to copy the production on an old Roland keyboard my dad got for his 50th birthday. It was my start to production without even knowing it. I’d listen to the songs and what made them so funky, the sounds, the rhythms, what instruments went where. It’s the album that really taught me the foundations of how to make really good songs.

Ne-Yo – ‘Because of You’

I also remember on the show So You Think You Can Dance, the dancers Sabra and Dominic did choreography to ‘Make It Work’, which is definitely my second favourite song on the album. I thought they were so fly and I’d watch that video repeatedly. I even attempted to take hip hop dance classes, only to get too embarrassed to keep going.

I have a deep connection with this album and my teenage days. Whether I was running through the carts on the train with my friends, macking on at house parties, laying at the beach, heartbroken over somebody, crushing on somebody, or just chilling at someone’s house, a song from this album was bound to come on and anybody in the room would sing along.

It’s a big part of my life, and every time any of these songs come on, a wave of nostalgia hits me. This album changed my life. It was really my awakening that songwriting is a possibility, and something I knew I wanted to do.

Vetta Borne – ‘Wasn’t It Good’

  • Vetta Borne’s new EP, Rose Avenue, Vol. 1, is out now.

Further Reading

Watch Vetta Borne Cover Gwen Stefani’s ‘Cool’ For Triple J Like A Version

NEW AUS MUSIC PLAYLIST: Our Favourite Tunes Of The Week

Woman Has Brain Surgery To Stop Seizures Triggered By Ne-Yo’s Music

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