Fresh off filming a new movie, the singer will perform at the Essence Music Festival on Friday

After spending the last four months in Prague where he was shooting the upcoming Tuskegee Airmen drama Red Tails alongside actors Terrence Howard and Cuba Gooding Jr., singer-songwriter Ne-Yo is ready to let loose and head down South.

Hitting the stage at the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans on Friday, Ne-Yo tells PEOPLE he’s been prepping his moves. “I’m a little rusty right now; I can admit that! … But it will not show by the time ya’ll see me at Essence! Don’t worry!” he assures his fans. Also on the Essence bill: Beyoncé, John Legend and Maxwell.

The star, who recently started rehearsals for his month-long European tour, added: “I’ve been off the radar while I was shooting [the film], but I’m getting my tour legs back. Performing music is in my blood. It’s not like I ll ever forget how to do it, but anything that you stop doing for a long enough period of time, you get a little rusty.”

And once Ne-Yo wraps up his Big Easy performance, he’ll be ready for a night on the town. “I love New Orleans – it’s a party town! I grew up in in Las Vegas, so I know what it is!” he says with a laugh. But before hitting the scene, he plans to get his fill of some traditional New Orleans-style cuisine. “Gumbo is a must! I won’t get on the stage until I get a proper bowl of gumbo,” he jokes.
from Huffington Post
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